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Denham, Yarmuth Lead Bipartisan Effort to Save Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs

WASHINGTON– U.S. Reps. Jeff Denham (R-CA) and John Yarmuth (D-KY) are spearheading a bipartisan effort to save Runaway and Homeless Youth programs across the nation, calling on Congressional leaders to adequately fund programs important to supporting at-risk youth.

This week, Denham and Yarmuth coauthored a letter—signed by 78 members of Congress in total—that was sent to House and Senate Committee on Appropriations leaders requesting a funding gap fix for Transition Living Program (TLP) and Maternity Group Home (MGH) grants. Without this funding, many homeless and runaway youth programs in communities nationwide will be forced to downgrade, discontinue services, or close completely.

“These programs are vital in our efforts to ensure that young people in America always have a place where they can seek shelter or find safety when in need,” said Yarmuth. “Congress must act immediately to protect these and other efforts that provide at-risk youth with the resources necessary to break the cycle of homelessness and achieve future success.”

The bipartisan effort has the support of the National Network for Youth, a public education and policy advocacy organization that has worked to prevent and eradicate youth homelessness in America for more than 40 years

“Homelessness is a major issue we face in the Central Valley, and a loss of services that have proven successful would be a serious setback for our community and ultimately increase the homeless youth population,” said Denham. “Shelters like the Center for Human Services in Modesto make a big difference, and we cannot afford to see them shut down because of a failure of Congress to act.”

A signed copy of the letter is available here, and full text of the letter can be found below:

November 13, 2017


The Honorable Thad Cochran                                                   The Honorable Patrick Leahy

Chairman                                                                                            Ranking Member

Senate Committee on Appropriations                                   Senate Committee on Appropriations

S-128, The Capitol, Washington, DC 20510                        S-128, The Capitol, Washington, DC 20510


The Honorable Rodney Frelinghuysen                                 The Honorable Nita Lowey

Chairman                                                                                            Ranking Member

House Committee on Appropriations                                    House Committee on Appropriations

H-305, The Capitol, Washington, DC 20515                       H-305, The Capitol, Washington, DC 20515


Dear Chairmen Cochran and Frelinghuysen and Ranking Members Leahy and Lowey:

We are writing to address an anomaly of grant eligibility and prevent an extended gap in operations for Runaway and Homeless Youth programs. Without action, the recipients of a unique cycle of Transitional Living Program (TLP) and Maternity Group Home (MGH) grants ending in April 2018 face a gap in funding eligibility which will result in programs downgrading, discontinuing, or even closing permanently.

TLP and MGH grants are critical to helping runaway and homeless youth find employment, learn life skills, provide parental care and guidance, acquire and maintain affordable housing, and ultimately return to their communities. Without these grants, communities nationwide will lose an important resource for responding to and preventing homelessness.

These programs last 21 months, and participants must meet progress milestones along the way. Participants develop critical skills that will help them reenter and thrive in their community, breaking the devastating cycle that leads youth to chronic adult homelessness. The programs operate on 5-year grant cycles, and have been consistently funded for decades because of their strong performance and positive, measurable results.

Unfortunately, programs with TLP and MGH grants ending in 2018 are facing an extended gap in eligibility before they can re-apply for a subsequent grant. Due to off-cycle appropriations in 2013, grants were issued in April of 2013 and will expire in April 2018. Recently, the programs on this schedule received notification from the Family Youth Service Bureau that they are ineligible for a new grant until the end of fiscal year 2018 at the earliest, resulting in a five or more month gap in funding.

A gap of this length is fiscally unsustainable, causing reductions in services. Some programs may even be discontinued or closed permanently, leading to an increase in inappropriate emergency shelter use and the overall youth homeless population. Inaction on this issue would be a harmful set-back for nationwide efforts to help prevent and respond to youth and young adult homelessness.

For these reasons, the House of Representatives unanimously approved an amendment to H.R. 3354, the fiscal year 2018 appropriations bill, to address the issue of bridge funding for TLP and MGH grants. We are writing to ensure that your distinguished committees address this issue in the final fiscal year 2018 appropriations bill. The appropriations committees can fix this issue and allow current runaway and homeless youth services to continue while the grant cycle is re-aligned with the fiscal year. We respectfully request your assistance in addressing this matter.


­­­­­­­­­Jeff Denham                                                                                      John Yarmuth


Homeless and Runaway Youth Letter - 11/13/17 (11/14/1702:53 PMET )