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Libertarian Humanist.

Here's the biggest thing you can do for homeless kids right now...

February 2, 2016

sad lonely girl portrait

How much money do you think the national government spends on helping homeless kids?

Before you guess, let me give you some budgets the government does spend money on:

  • Printing Costs ($930,000,000)
  • Maintaining Vacant Buildings ($175,000,000)
  • 118 Medical Clinics that never existed ($35,000,000)
  • European Legislators ($2,600,000)

I get it. America is a big place. It's easy for money to get lost.

You should also know that 1.6 million kids are homeless this year in the United States.

So, if you took the Vacant Building fund and gave it to each homeless kid, they would each get $109 for the year. That would be one item on the McDonald's Dollar menu every 3 days.

Now... back to my question. How much do you think the federal government spends on homeless kids?

There are only two federal programs dedicated specifically to homeless children and youth:

  1. Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs help prevent exploitation of youth on the streets and support reconnection to their families, schools, employment, and housing options.
  2. McKinney-Vento Homeless Children and Youth Program (EHCY) helps to ensure that all children and youth have equal access to the same free and appropriate public education, including preschool education as non-homeless children and youth.

This year EHCY got $65 million and RHYA got $114 million.

Combined, that's just $4 million more than we spend maintaining our vacant buildings.  Vacant buildings are really important and need at least as much money as 1.6 million homeless kids living in the richest country in the world. We get it. Save the vacant buildings!!

But here's what we are asking:

We are asking for the government to fund EHCY at the maximum it is permitted: $85 million. That's a 21% increase. That's just over what we spend in 2 days fighting ISIS. These are rounding errors for our government. Maybe if we just looked at some of the medical clinics that don't exist we could pull the money from those.

Back in 2008 Congress determined RHYA needed $165 million when we had 795,000 homeless kids. We are asking that RHYA get funding at that level this year even though we have TWICE as many homeless kids this year.

This coming month, President Obama is expected to release his spending priorities for 2017. We need to inspire him to recommend funding these programs at these levels. It really isn't that much. We can do it.

If this makes even one shred of sense... if you think homeless kids in America is something worth working on... PLEASE do one of the next things:

1. Please act today to urge your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative to support $85 million for the EHCY program and $165 million for the RHYA program in the Fiscal Year 2017 funding legislation:

  • A sample letter in Microsoft Word may be downloaded here.
  • Contact information for U.S. Senators may be found here.
  • Contact information for U.S. Representatives may be found here.

Please be sure to edit the sample letter on the page to explain why YOU support these funding increases, including any local, or state information especially examples of children and youth who benefit from these programs. If you are writing on behalf of an agency, please describe what your program or agency does. The more you personalize the letter, the better!

2. Please sign on your organization to this national letter urging the U.S. Congress to make these greater investments in the EHCY and RHYA programs. The deadline for sign-ons is February 19, 2016.


Please contact Barbara Duffield, Director of Policy and Programs, at[email protected] or (202) 364-7392.

I know doing these things is totally annoying.

But just turn on Making a Murderer on Netflix, open your iPhone and click on some of the links above. You'll be done before you know it.

Ask the power brokers to have a little compassion for kids that don't have a home in America.

Doing this kind of thing it really makes a big difference.

Thank you for everything you do!


Here are the places I got my information from:

Historic Opportunity to Increase Funding for Homeless Children and Youth Programs | The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth

24 Stupidest Things the U.S. Government Spends Money On

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) | U.S. Department of Education

Homeless Children and Youth | Child Trends

Funding Status -- Education for Homeless Children and Youths - Grants for State and Local Activities

National Alliance to End Homelessness: Homeless Youth Legislation

The U.S. Has Spent $9 Million a Day to Fight ISIS

Paid For By The People for Sage Lewis

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