Today is the day to take action for homeless children and youth!
Madeline Daniels (Former Staff), First Focus Campaign for ChildrenHousing & Homelessness Poverty & Family Economics
The U.S. Senate is considering a policy that would help America’s homeless children and youth. Introduced by Senator Portman (R-Ohio), the bipartisan amendment is being debated on the floor today. Your senators are deciding how to vote, and a quick call or email from you can make a big difference.
The United States has over 1.3 million homeless students. 81 percent are ignored by the government department in charge of housing. That’s right, a majority of our homeless students aren’t counted in the definition of “homeless” used by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) because they are temporarily staying in motels or with others. Just because they have a roof over their head doesn’t make it home, and it doesn’t mean they’re safe.
Homeless children and youth are at high risk of sexual trafficking, so Senator Portman’s Amendment 271 to the bipartisan Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act fixes the HUD definition of homeless to include all children and youth. It would mean homeless children and youth would be eligible for the help they need. The must-pass Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act and its amendments are being debated today, so your senators need to hear from you immediately.
There are a couple of ways to take action that are quick, easy, and very effective.
Call your senators
1. Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to one of your state’s senators.
2. Once you’re connected, please identify yourself as a constituent.
3. Tell your senator’s staff that you would like the senator to vote YES on Amendment 271 to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015. You can use this script as a guide:
- “My name is ____________. I’m a constituent and I’m asking my senator to vote YES on Amendment 271 to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015.
- Over 1 million homeless children and youth don’t get the help they need from our federal government because of a definition of homelessness that excludes where homeless children and youth stay at night: motels and with others.
- These homeless children and youth are at high risk of sexual trafficking.
- Amendment 271 would fix the government definition of homelessness and get homeless children and youth the help they need.
- This issue is important to me. Would you please ask the senator to vote YES on Amendment 271 to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015?
- Thank you.”
4. Hang up and call your other senator.
Write to your senators
Use our easy online tool to send an email to your senators asking them to vote YES on Amendment 271 to the Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015.