Philadelphia, PA- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on the federal government to increase funding to dedicate resources for transitional and permanent housing for homeless youth. Joined by Sister Mary Scullion of Project HOME and local youth service providers, Sen. Casey discussed the need to increase funding for Homeless Assistance Grants and to commit funds specifically to combat youth homelessness.
“We have an abiding obligation to make sure that our nation’s children get off to a strong, smart, and healthy start to life, but our children cannot do that if they do not have a roof over their head,” Senator Casey said. “We need to ensure that we provide proper funding so no shelter in Philadelphia has to turn a homeless youth away because they do not have enough beds.”
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grant (MVHAG) program is the federal government’s primary response to homelessness. The program helps to fund permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless people as well as emergency shelter programs. Unfortunately, economic and demographic indicators of homelessness remain high. Federal funding cuts and sequester have placed a burden on federal housing and homeless assistance programs. Many homeless programs currently have to make difficult decisions and often have to turn people away. The Obama Administration is currently calling for $2.48 billion in funding so there is additional funding to meet a growing need.
Senator Casey’s call for increased funding follows a letter to the ranking members on the Senate Committee on Appropriations. The letter urges the committee to support President Obama’s request of $2.48 billion for MVHAG supports $40 million in dedicated funding for housing for homeless youth.
The PDF of the letter is attached.