Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act May Move Soon!

Right now in the United States, homeless youth are at high risk of being victimized, exploited, or coerced into human trafficking. Many also find themselves involved in the juvenile justice and/or child welfare system. To stem the tide of abuse and victimization, The Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act would help create appropriate, accessible trauma-informed services that can provide health, healing, and a safe haven for homeless children and teens.

Here in the Philadelphia region, runaway and homeless girls can get help right now through a number of organizations, including PathWays PA. Our Basic Center program provides residential facilities for five runaway/homeless girls between ages 13-17 and an after-school drop-in program for residents and non-residents. To learn more about the Basic Center Program, please contact the Basic Center at 215-397-4287.

From our friends at the National Network for Youth:
S. 2646, the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (RHYTPA), has officially been listed to be marked up. This means that momentum to reauthorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) is building and there is a serious chance that this bill could pass into law, but we need your help to make that happen.
Senate Champions, Senators Leahy (D-VT) and Collins (R-ME) need your help in getting more U.S. Senators to cosponsor RHYTPA before Thursday, September 18th.
Call Your Senators and Ask Them to Cosponsor S. 2646 to Reauthorize RHYA
  1. Take five minutes to call both of your Senators to ask them to cosponsor S. 2646, the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (RHYTPA)- which reauthorizes the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act.
  2. Use this directory to find your Senators' phone numbers.
  3. When you call, ask to speak to the staff person who handles homeless youth issues.
  4. Tell the staff person why Runaway and Homeless Youth Act programs are critical to the communities and constituents in the Senator's state.
  5. Ask your Senators to cosponsor S. 2646- led by Senator Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Collins (R-ME).
  6. Get the staffer's email address so you can follow-up via email (draft email below).
Follow-Up Email
Dear ____________,
Thank you so much for speaking with me today. As I stated on the phone, Runaway and Homeless Youth Act Programs, which would be reauthorized by S. 2646 Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (RHYTPA), are critical to the youth and families in [insert state]. [INSERT PROGRAM INFORMATION].
Please support S. 2646. Emily Livingston is the contact in Senator Leahy’s office
(Emily_Livingston@judiciary-dem.senate.gov) and John Kane is the contact in Senator Collins’ office (John_Kane@aging.senate.gov).
Additional Resources

FACT SHEET
This Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act, S. 2646 fact sheet summarizes the proposed key updates to the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) and outlines how these programs save the federal government money. This fact sheet is an excellent resource for talking points for when you call.
BILL SUMMARY
This document is a two-page summary of the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act, S. 2646. This summary focuses on the updates to the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA), which was last reauthorized in 2008.

BILL TEXT
The bill text of the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act, S. 2646.
Interested in PathWays PA blog posts on similar topics?

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