It is estimated that approximately 1.68 million youth experience homelessness each year in the U.S. For over 40 years, the Federal government has funded programs that provide street outreach, temporary shelter and services, and transitional living to this population.
The Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (RHYTPA) looks to improve these programs by: expanding funding for research, data collection and collaboration; creating a National Runaway Youth Hotline; and adding nondiscrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. As it is estimated that nearly 40% of the runaway and homeless youth population identifies as LGBT, the addition of nondiscrimination language to this bill would ensure that all homeless youth are able to receive services.
Write to your Senators and tell them to support this important piece of legislation. The following letter is a collaborative effort from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, The Jewish Federations of North America, and the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism for Human Trafficking Awareness Month.