Joyce Beatty Wants $25 Million to Keep Foster Care Youth from Being Homeless
Some families lose their children to foster care because of homelessness and some in foster care simply age out of the system and become homeless themselves. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH) wants federal dollars to help stop this cycle. She teamed up with Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) to lead a bipartisan request asking for $25 million in federal funds for HUD’s Family Unification Program (FUP), a national initiative to prevent family separation due to homelessness. “This additional funding will help the City of Columbus, the State of Ohio, and our country better address and meet the needs of countless families and young people who simply need a helping hand to get off the streets,” Beatty said. FUP eligible families include those who are in imminent danger of losing their children to foster care because of housing problems, as well as those who are unable to regain custody of their children primarily due to housing problems. FUP eligible youth include those who were in foster care any time after the age of 16 (currently between the ages of 18 to 21) and are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Teenagers have lower adoption rates than younger children, wait longer to be adopted, and often age out of the system without a stable place to call home. More than 1 in 4 of the 23,000 youth who age out of the foster care system each year will experience homelessness. Beatty and Stivers previously introduced legislation to expand federal assistance eligibility to young people bouncing from house to house -- commonly referred to as “couch surfing.” More here.