Subject: ACTION ALERT: S. 961: Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act of 2011
From: Gabi Clayton ~ Safe Schools Coalition <>
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2011 10:24:33 -0700

Dear Safe Schools Coalition Members and Friends:

ACTION ALERT: S. 961: Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act of 2011

Note: We are sharing this item because we believe that it is an issue Safe Schools Coalition members and friends may be interested in.
If you have opinion about it, please let your voice be heard.

The Safe Schools Coalition has voted to endorse S. 961: Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act of 2011 which was introduced by Senator John Kerry on May 12th.

The Coalition's leadership team wants to encourage you to write a letter to Senator John Kerry to express your support for S. 961: Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act of 2011.

To contact Senator Kerry:

Use the contact form on his website:
Phone his Washington DC office to speak to his staff: (202) 224-2742

Send snail mail letters to be passed on to Senator Kerry to:

National Alliance to End Homelessness
Attention: André Wade - S. 961
1518 K Street NW, Suite 410
Washington, DC 20005

For more information, below is a message from Andre Wade of National Alliance to End Homelessness about what you can do, and a press release and statement by Senator Kerry about this bill:


A message from Andre Wade of National Alliance to End Homelessness  
From: André Wade []
Sent: Friday, May 20, 2011 8:03 AM
To: André Wade
Subject: Kerry Legislation Aims to Reduce Youth Homelessness
By now I’m sure most if not all of you have heard about the Senator Kerry bill, “The Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act” and the program it offers up to increase family acceptance and decrease family rejection of LGBTQ youth as a way to prevent runaway and homelessness. A few action items are necessary to make sure that we continue to raise awareness of the bill:
Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act of 2011
List of Supporting Organizations
Sen. John F. Kerry
National Coalition for the Homeless
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
American Bar Association
The National Alliance to End Homelessness
Center for American Progress Action Fund
American Humane Association
Human Rights Campaign
National Center for Housing & Child Welfare
National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Cyndi Lauper and the True Colors Fund
National Center on Family Homelessness
National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
National Children’s Alliance
Voice for Adoption
National Youth Advocacy Coalition
National Network for Youth
Healthy Teen Network
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) National
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Crittenton Foundation
National Safe Place
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health
Children’s Advocacy Institute
National Association of Council for Children
Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network
Foster Club
The Trevor Project
National Health Care for the Homeless Council
Homeless Children’s Playtime Project (Washington, DC)
Horizons for Homeless Children (Massachusetts)
New York City LGBT Community Center
The Home for Little Wanderers (Massachusetts)
The Attic Youth Center (Philidelphia)
One Colorado
The Ali Forney Center (New York)
Bridge for Youth (Minneapolis)
Larkin Street Youth Services (San Francisco)
Youth Service, Inc. (Philidelphia)

Reducing Youth Homelessness

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 12, 2011

WASHINGTON – Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) today introduced legislation to reduce youth homelessness. The Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act would improve training, educational opportunities, and permanency planning for older foster youth. It also strengthens programs to reduce poverty and keep families together. 

“As a father, it’s a punch in the gut to imagine children living on the streets, but this year alone, one in fifty American kids will be homeless,” Senator Kerry said. “There are common sense reforms we can implement to help make things better.”

The Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act:

This legislation is supported by 39 organizations, including the National Coalition for the Homeless, National Network for Youth, and Voice for Adoption.



Introduction of Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act of 2011 – a statement by Senator John Kerry.
(This is the second bill on this page on the Project Vote Smart website.)

Title: Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions
Date: 05/12/2011
Location: Washington, DC

By Mr. KERRY (for himself, Mr. Alexander, and Mr. Wyden):

S. 960. A bill to provide for a study on issues relating to access to intravenous immune globulin (IVG) for Medicare beneficiaries in all care settings and a demonstration project to examine the benefits of providing coverage and payment for items and services necessary to administer IVG in the home; to the Committee on Finance.

Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, today along with Senator Alexander I am introducing the Medicare IVIG Access Act to help patients with primary immunodeficiency diseases, PIDD, who currently face a number of health challenges. Today, Medicare beneficiaries with PIDD already have a Part B benefit for home-based intravenous immune globulin, IVIG, treatment. Unfortunately a gap in coverage exists so no payments are available for the items and services necessary to administer the treatment.

Treatment in the home is more cost effective and also protects the patient from the risk of exposure to additional illnesses in other health care settings. This is of particular concern to PIDD patients, since they already have weakened immune systems. A 2007 report from the Department of Health and Human Services, HHS, Office of Inspector General and the HHS Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation found that problems with payment exist, namely the absence of coverage for required items and services associated with IVIG home infusion.

That is why I have worked with my colleague Senator Alexander to introduce the Medicare IVIG Access Act to create a 3-year demonstration project to provide for and evaluate the benefits of providing a payment for items and services necessary to administer IVIG in the home. The bill includes a study to explore issues surrounding IVIG treatment, including the impact of the demonstration project on access to care, and an analysis of the appropriateness of new payment methodology for IVIG treatment in all settings.

This legislation is supported by a number of organizations including the Immune Deficiency Foundation and the Clinical Immunology Society. I ask all of my colleagues to support this important legislation.

By Mr. KERRY (for himself, Mrs. MURRAY, and Mr. BEGICH):

S. 961. A bill to create the income security conditions and family supports needed to ensure permanency for the Nation's unaccompanied youth, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Finance.

Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, today I am introducing the Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act to improve training, educational opportunities, and permanency planning for older foster youth and reduce homelessness among our young people.

This year approximately 3.5 million people, including 1.5 million children in the United States will experience homelessness at some point. That is one out of every 50 kids. For children who were in the foster system the chances of becoming homeless are even greater. Every year approximately 30,000 children age out of the foster care system--many with no family and nowhere to go. These children were placed in the foster system at absolutely no fault of their own and too often they leave the system without a place to call home.

We have a responsibility to take care of our young people and make sure families have the resources they need to be able to keep a roof over their heads. I developed this legislation after hearing troubling stories from teenagers in Massachusetts. For example, I heard from one 15-year-old who has been in multiple foster care placements and is expected to eventually age out of the system. He told me ``..... I feel the age 18 is too young, some of us don't always have somewhere to go ..... if this bill gets passed it will greatly help a lot of people in so many different ways ..... I thank you for giving us the opportunity to help us better ourselves and letting us know that we are heard in this world and someone cares deeply and truly about us.'' That is why I am introducing the Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act. This legislation will help ensure that regardless of where in the country a foster child lives, they will not face the prospect of becoming a homeless teenager by allowing them to remain in care until their 21st birthday and improving permanency planning.

It provides support for States to work together to decrease barriers that prohibit cooperation across State lines for placing foster children in loving homes outside their state of residence. It provides support for programs that improve family relationships and reduce homelessness among youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. This legislation ensures that children in foster care receive Social Security benefits they qualify for due to the death of a parent or a disability.

The bill makes significant improvements to the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, TANF, program such as enhancing efforts to connect families with education, training and housing resources. It also increases the time frame for young parents to qualify for TANF benefits if they are in an education or training program. Finally, it provides more flexibility for states to work with young families to become compliant with TANF requirements.

This legislation is supported by over 40 organizations, including the American Bar Association, the National Coalition for the Homeless, National Network for Youth, and Voice for Adoption. I thank my colleagues Senator MURRAY and Senator BEGICH for their support and co-sponsorship of this bill. It is my hope that we can move forward in a bipartisan manner. I ask all of my colleagues to support this important legislation.



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