Runaway and Homeless Youth Act Reauthorization 

The week of July 22, Senator Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Collins (R-ME) moved to reauthorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) by introducing the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (RHYTPA).

Each year an estimated 1.7 million youth run away from a threatening situation or are thrown out of their homes by discouraged parents (http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/901087_Burt_Homeless.pdf). These children benefit from the programs funded through RHYA and the reauthorization, RHYTPA.

RHYA serves homeless youth through the following programs:

  • Basic Center Program provides grants to community and nonprofit organizations to support emergency shelters and services to reunite youth with their families;
  • Street Outreach Program provides outreach services to at-risk youth;
  • Transitional Living and Maternity Group Home Programs provide housing and life skill support to older youth 16 to 22-years-old.

These programs serve thousands of youth each year and are critically important in every state. RHYTPA builds on these programs and provides some key updates, which include: funding data collection; improving family reunification efforts; outlining a nondiscrimination clause that has already been adopted by programs across the country, ensuring housing and services will be provided fairly to youth. If you are interested in learning more or advocating for this issue, contact Katie Carter at kcarter@nspnetwork.org.