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Here’s What the 2019 Federal Budget Means for Homeless Youth

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Big news has come from Capitol Hill as Congress passed a bipartisan FY19 budget deal, which was signed by the President, increasing funding for key homelessness programs. In particular, $80 million was included in the bill to further expand the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) being led by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and ensured that the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) would continue for years to come.

Here are 4 True Facts on what the FY18 federal budget means for youth experiencing homelessness:

1. $80 million will be invested in long-term solutions to ending youth homelessness.

    • The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program is designed to reduce the number of youth experiencing homelessness. In total, up to 25 communities will receive funding, with eight of them being rural.
    • Up to $5 million of this total is allocated for technical assistance
    • Through the YHDP, youth who have formerly experienced homelessness work hand-in-hand with Continuums of Care (CoCs) to identify, evaluate, and cull together best practices from different communities. Taken as a whole, YHDP  serves as a blueprint for communities, service providers, advocates, and policymakers alike on the most effective ways to prevent and end youth homelessness at the local level.

2. The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) will remain open.

    • USICH received $3.6 million in funding and its sunset date of October 1, 2018 has been extended a full decade to October 1, 2028. USICH is the glue that holds America’s response to homelessness together, coordinating with 19 federal agencies to proactively work towards preventing and ending homelessness.

3. Funding for homeless assistance programs will increase to $2.636 billion.

    • This funding will provide resources for CoCs, which support proven interventions and community solutions towards preventing and ending homelessness.

4. Last year, Congress passed – and the President signed into law – full FY2019 funding for the Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, Labor, Defense, and other agencies.

    • That bill included $127.42 million for Runaway and Homeless Youth Act grants and $93.5 million for Education for Homeless Children and Youth Act grants.

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Follow Justin Rush, JD:

Director of Public Policy

Justin leads the True Colors Fund's work to enact administrative and legislative policy change to prevent and end LGBT youth homelessness.