October 23, 2020

Report Highlights Need For Manchin Bill To Help Homeless Children And Youth

Washington, DC – Last week, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago released a report which further highlights the need for U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) bipartisan legislation, the Emergency Family Stabilization Act.

“Every child deserves a roof over their head and a safe place to sleep and it is unbelievable that in the 21st century that isn’t a reality. The recent report from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago found the lack of resources in rural areas of America – like West Virginia – create additional burdens for children and youth experiencing homelessness. That’s exactly why the bipartisan Emergency Family Stabilization Act is needed to bring resources to our families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this commonsense legislation to help our children and youth across America who need help right now,” said Senator Manchin.

This quantitative study found that while youth homelessness rates are similar in urban and rural areas, rural areas tend to far worse because they lack general awareness and the resources to provide assistance to youth experiencing homelessness. The report calls for community-driven collaborative approaches to addressing youth homelessness because most rural areas have insufficient resources to support youth experiencing homelessness.

Overview of Report Findings:

  • The current methods for identifying and counting youth experiencing homelessness are inadequate and need to be updated.
  • Rural schools need more capacity devoted to identifying and servicing youth experiencing homelessness.
  • Flexible funding is needed in every community – especially rural communities – to better address youth homelessness.
  • Community-driven collaborative approaches are more effective in addressing youth homelessness as opposed to individual agencies.

Senator Manchin also led a bicameral letter on child poverty rates in rural America, which directly affects our children and youth experiencing homelessness.