Family Promise Part of National Leadership Effort to Accurately Define Family Homelessness

Mikie Sherrill and Claas Ehlers

December 17, 2021

MORRIS PLAINS, NJ — On December 16, Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) joined Family Promise and other local housing organizations including Homeless Solutions and JBWS at Family Promise of Morris County to announce the re-introduction of the bipartisan Homeless Children and Youth Act (HCYA). Family Promise Affiliates also worked to bring on Congressman Van Taylor (R-TX) to support this bipartisan piece of legislation.

HCYA would change how HUD defines homelessness so that it aligns with the definition of homelessness across federal agencies. By reshaping the current narrow definition, more families and children in need can access the housing and homeless assistance they need, and housing organizations and advocates will have greater flexibility and access to more resources to serve children and youth experiencing homelessness.

“When it comes to our children, it’s crystal clear that we need to do everything in our power to ensure they’re healthy and safe.” said Representative Sherrill. “Today, we’re cutting through red tape to ensure kids and families in need can access the services they’re eligible for.”

Family Promise CEO Claas Ehlers also spoke on what HCYA will mean for families experiencing homelessness and the ability to serve families: “Our belief is that no child’s future should be defined by their housing status…Our current policies and processes are not aligned with the goal of empowering every child out of homelessness. The Homeless Children and Youth Act will do exactly that.”

Family Promise is proud to be part of 50 national organizations and hundreds of state and local organizations that support HCYA and the impact it will have on families. 1 in 18 children experience homelessness before the first grade. Accurately defining homelessness is a huge step toward helping families currently experiencing homelessness and preventing future homelessness. To learn more about HCYA, visit The National Network For Youth.

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