Right now if you are a child living in a motel or “doubled up” with friends or family, according to Department of Education, Health and Human Services you are considered to be homeless and therefore are able to receive assistance and services. However, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), does not consider those children to be homeless.
New legislation is now trying to be put into effect to amend the HUD definition of homelessness to include those children living in motels or doubled up. This would allow those families experiencing homelessness to be able to receive assistance from programs running under laws such as McKinney Vento Act and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act. The bill, Homeless Children and Youth Act, would allow families to get the services that they have the right to.
As of the current HUD definition of homelessness, people who are experiencing homelessness are required to document moves and require proof of homelessness, which can be a hard challenge. Many people living in doubled up situations or motels may not know the people they stayed with well enough to even ask them and only creates more frustration for those experiencing homelessness. It can be hard trying to prove your status as homelessness and many other agencies and organizations are willing to help any way they can, with or without documentation and HUD needs to follow suit.
There is a way that you can help families and children that are facing this difficult struggle every day. By sending a letter to your local Congressman, we can get the word out on this issue and show that there are people who care. By helping this law to get passed, it can mean the world to those children experiencing homelessness that we serve. Together, we can help these children remain connected to their education!
Click here to send a letter to your Congressman! http://helphomelesskidsnow.org/take-action/