November 30, 2023

Senate Passes Manchin, Collins Resolution Designating November 2023 as National Homeless Children and Youth Awareness Month

Washington, DC – Yesterday, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Susan Collins’ (R-ME) bipartisan resolution designating November 2023 as National Homeless Children and Youth Awareness Month. In the United States, more than 1,200,000 students experienced homelessness during the 2021-2022 school year, including an estimated 13,530 in West Virginia and 4,400 in Maine. Companion legislation was introduced in the House by U.S. Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Don Bacon (R-NE).

“Every child deserves a roof over their head and a warm, safe place to sleep at night, but that is unfortunately not the case for more than 13,530 youth and children in West Virginia and more than 1,200,000 nationwide. Ending homelessness among children and youth continues to be one of my top priorities, and we must work together to find commonsense solutions to this heartbreaking issue. I’m proud to lead my bipartisan colleagues in designating November 2023 as National Homeless Children and Youth Awareness Month, and I will continue fighting to end homelessness among children and youth in the Mountain State,” said Senator Manchin.

“Ensuring every child has a safe and secure home is a shared commitment that transcends party lines,” said Senator Collins. “This bipartisan resolution helps to increase awareness of the plight of homeless children and youth, reaffirms our commitment to provide all children with the same opportunity to succeed, and recognizes the hard work being done by businesses, organizations, schools, and volunteers to prevent youth homelessness.”

“Millions of children and youth are experiencing homelessness across our country. Getting them into a safe and stable home is fundamental to their well-being and their future. I’m grateful to partner with Representative Bacon, Senator Manchin, and Senator Collins on this bipartisan, bicameral resolution to raise awareness about this important issue as we work on solutions to help address the needs of youth experiencing homelessness,” said Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR).

“Youth homelessness has no place in the United States and we must do more to ensure that our nation’s youth are cared for and given every opportunity for success,” said Representative Don Bacon (R-NE). “Rep. Bonamici and I introduced the Homeless Children and Youth Awareness Month Resolution to bring awareness to the issue.”

“Homelessness among children and youth is a growing crisis with a potentially devastating impact on the health, development, and future of babies, school-age children, and young adults. Yet it remains hidden from public sight. Awareness is the first step toward action. SchoolHouse Connection applauds this bipartisan, bicameral resolution and urges all sectors of society to take steps to ensure that today’s homeless children and youth do not become tomorrow’s homeless adults,” said Barbara Duffield, Executive Director, SchoolHouse Connection.

“At the National Network for Youth, we believe that all youth in America should have access to safe housing and the ability to achieve their dreams and aspirations. We’re grateful to the champions of this bipartisan, bicameral resolution and urge communities to put systems and resources in place to prevent homelessness and address the child, youth, and family homelessness crisis,” said Darla Bardine, Executive Director, National Network for Youth.

“The WV Coalition to End Homelessness believes that youth and young adults with lived experience are the experts we should be consulting with to develop strategies to prevent and end youth homelessness in our state. The Youth Action Board (YAB) is recognized as the official youth subcommittee of the WV Balance of State Continuum of Care (CoC) and is composed of youth with lived experience in juvenile justice, foster care, and homelessness. The purpose of the YAB is to advocate for youth services throughout the CoC and implement policies and practices which best serve youth. We are in full support of the National Homeless Children and Youth Awareness resolution,” said JJ Cayton, Youth Systems Specialist/YAB Chair, WV Coalition to End Homelessness.

Senators Manchin and Collins were joined by Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Jon Ossoff (D-GA).

The resolution is endorsed by the following organizations: SchoolHouse Connection, National Network 4 Youth, First Focus Campaign for Children, National Coalition for the Homeless, Family Promise, CSH (Corporation for Supportive Housing), American Psychological Association Services, National Center for Housing & Child Welfare, National Health Care for the Homeless Council, Council of Administrators of Special Education, Western Regional Advocacy Project, EDGE Consulting Partners, ZERO TO THREE, Covenant House International, Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Head Start Association, Chiefs for Change and National Association of Secondary School Principals.

A video of Senator Manchin’s statement is available here.

The full text of the resolution is available here.