A History of Runaway and Homeless Youth Act Funding, October 2012

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Federal Policy Brief | October 26, 2012

Files: A History of Runaway and Homeless Youth Act Funding (PDF | 166 KB | 1 pages)

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History of Runaway and Homeless Youth Act Funding, October 2012

The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act has three programs that address the needs of runaway youth and youth experiencing homelessness. The street outreach program allows workers to go out into the community to provide youth with services such as referrals to shelter and counseling. The basic center program is a drop-in center that provides shelter for up to 21 days; resources to meet the basic needs of youth such as food and clothing; and counseling services to reunify youth with their families. The transitional living program allows older youth to reside in housing for up to 18 months while obtaining services such as employment, education, and mental health to set up the youth for self-sufficiency.

RHYA is currently authorized at $165 million for all three of its components which are the Street Outreach Program (SOP), Basic Center Program (BCP), and Transitional Living Program (TLP). All three programs have been appropriated1 at $115 million dollars.

Funding for RHYA has remained relatively flat over the past decade. During this time the total number of youth served in all three programs has decreased while the number of youth turned away for services in the BCP and TLP has increased significantly. This translates into programs’ inability to meet the demand for services. Therefore many of our young people remain on the street and unable to access services to be safe, possibly return home, or access housing.