December 04, 2019

Bipartisan Duckworth Resolution to Support At-Risk Youth and Help Eliminate Homelessness Passes Senate


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – A bipartisan resolution introduced by U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tim Scott (R-SC) recognizing November as National Runaway Prevention Month passed the U.S. Senate this week. The resolution will help raise awareness of the nationwide runaway and homeless youth crisis and educate the public on how to help end youth homelessness. U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Patty Murray (D-WA) also co-sponsored the resolution.

“It’s a tragedy when any child does not have a safe roof over their head, but all too often their heartbreaking stories go unheard and unnoticed,” said Duckworth. “I’m glad my colleagues passed this important bipartisan resolution, which will help raise awareness and bring us closer to assisting children and families break the cycle of poverty, secure affordable housing and access a safe and supportive home environment.”

“One of the best ways to advance efforts to end youth homelessness is to raise awareness of the challenge with the American people who exhibit great generosity for worthy causes that support our neighbors in need,” said Sullivan. “I’m glad to see Senator Duckworth’s resolution recognizing runaway youth pass the Senate, shining a light on the millions of vulnerable young people without a support system, a home, or financial security that so many of us take for granted.”

“With Senate passage of this resolution to recognize November as National Runaway Prevention Month, we can raise awareness about the resources available to address the youth runaway and child homelessness crisis that affects nearly 4.2 million children annually,” said Durbin. “This bipartisan effort will help us ensure the safety of homeless and runaway children while addressing the root causes of this crisis by providing support to children experiencing these traumatic circumstances.”

“This November, I’m proud to recognize National Runaway Prevention Month in order to shine a light on some of our most vulnerable children and young adults,” said Scott. “Let us all continue working towards increasing public awareness and expanding the resources available for runaway and homeless youth.”

In November, Duckworth visited the National Runaway Safeline (NRS), a Chicago-based federally-designated national hotline and online service for runaway and homeless youth, to meet with staff and volunteers after introducing the resolution.

Approximately 4.2 million youth run away or experience homelessness each year and have an increased risk of becoming victims of human trafficking. Homeless youth are also more likely to be coerced into participating in criminal activity.

National Runaway Prevention Month coincided with anti-homeless programs and activities sponsored by Illinois-based organizations, such as the National Runaway Safeline (NRS), and the Night Ministry, which both work to eradicate and prevent youth homelessness.

The following organizations also supported this resolution: National Network for Youth (NN4Y), National Safe Place Network, National Center for Housing and Child Welfare, SchoolHouse Connection, Covenant House Illinois.