Tell Senate to END Homeless Youth

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The petition calls for bring back to the Senate floor and pass bill S7715. This would allow homeless youth up to age 25 to be able to access housing and wrap around supportive services through the Runaway Homeless Youth Act, where the current age limit is 21 years old.

In May of 2016, State Senator Diane Savino and Assembly Member Helene Weinstein introduced bill A10145/S7715 to expand the application of the New York State Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) to include youth up to age 25. In 1978, New York State adopted the RHYA after the Federal government signed it into law in 1974. Through the work of advocates in the 70s and 80s, New York State amended this Act to include youth up until their 21st birthday, extending the age from 18. Forty years later, our State is faced with the important consideration of raising the age again.

The Assembly has passed the bill but Senate needs to bring it to the floor and vote. Young people who age out of services at the age of 21 are often left in very vulnerable positions which can lead them to violence, sexual assault, and at risk to engage in survival economies, increasing the likelihood of further violence, sexual assault and encounters with law enforcement – an unnecessary use of our states’ precious resources.

The passing of this bill would insure that

1)      Youth aging foster care could have comprehensive wrap around services until age of 25.

2)      NYS State provides funding and opportunities for sustainable life skill training programs for homeless youth up to age 25 (including pre-vocational work).

3)      New York gives additional funding to support all at risk youth (including young people with disabilities or criminal background).

 

 



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