Ending Youth Homelessness with the Alliance Site Visit Campaign

written by naehblog
November 23, 2010

Today’s guest post comes to us from Alliance Advocacy intern Jeremy Nichols.

As you already know (because we wrote about it last month), The Alliance’s Advocacy team has been asking you guys to get involved in the Youth Site Visit Campaign.

And thanks to you, we’re rolling right along! So far, 16 communities have committed to conducting site visits, from places like Maryland, Illinois, California, and Pennsylvania. The amount of time and dedication put in by our partners in the field has been amazing and it’s been a real pleasure to be a part of the campaign!

In case you forgot what the Youth Site Visit Campaign was all about, here’s a little refresher: over the holiday season, homelessness assistance providers have asked Members of Congress to come out and get a first-hand look at all of the good their programs are doing for at-risk youth in the community

Often just outside the scope of media attention, youth homelessness is a serious problem in the United States, with an estimate of 50,000 youth living on the streets.

What can we do to fix this? First, we need to increase awareness and get key decision-makers to understand that this a much larger issue than many people initially think. And that’s where you come in.

With the Youth Site Visit Campaign, we hope to:

  • Raise awareness among Members of Congress about the issue of youth homelessness
  • Strengthen local relationships with Members of Congress from across the country
  • Encourage Congress to increase funding for Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs.

This is a great opportunity – around the holidays, when elected officials are home and good will permeates the season – to engage in campaigns like this that really aim to make a difference.

If you’d still like to get involved, it isn’t too late! Thanksgiving isn’t the only time site visit can be held; any day of the year is the perfect opportunity to put youth homelessness on the radar of your Member of Congress. If you would like to get involved and invite a member of Congress to visit your youth program, let us know! We’ll help you figure out how to get the process started.