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DON’T LET THE SENATE THROW AWAY 40 PERCENT OF AMERICA’S HOMELESS YOUTH

Tue, Mar 10, 2015 at 4:32 PM by User 0 Comments

Below is an op-ed written by Cyndi and published in The Hill.

““Enough is enough.” It’s a phrase that is said all too often about so many issues in our society, but unfortunately not enough when it comes to our nation’s most vulnerable young people.

Congress must reauthorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA), our nation’s only federal law that specifically funds vital services for homeless youth. Republicans and Democrats have come together to ensure that our Federal Government offers much needed support to all homeless youth.

Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize RHYA, which will likely be brought up for a floor vote in the Senate this week – possibly as soon as today.

The act includes a non-discrimination clause that will help ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) homeless youth not only have access to critical services, but that those services are safe, welcoming, and tailored to meet the needs of all youth.

We need that clause and some groups are trying to push to have it taken out. I was taught to listen to Proverbs 31: Speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves. Our kids need us to protect them, not to discriminate against them.

Research shows that while LGBT youth make up to seven percent of the general youth population, they comprise, on average, 40 percent of the 1.6 million youth that are homeless in this country each year. Think about that. It’s impossible to ignore.

There is no getting around the fact that these kids are too often being thrown out of their homes and left to fend for themselves on the streets. The fact that this occurs each and every day in our country is simply a tragedy – a tragedy that does not have to continue.

At the True Colors Fund, we continue to hear stories of young people being discriminated against, offered improper services, and even turned away by service providers just because they happen to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. By continuing to…” CONT. READING…

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