November 30, 2021

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


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today introduced a bipartisan resolution to recognize November as National Runaway Prevention Month. The resolution will help raise awareness of the nationwide runaway and homeless youth crisis and educate the public on the leading factors that contribute to youth homelessness in the United States. U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Patty Murray (D-WA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Angus King (I-ME) joined Duckworth to introduce this 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. “This resolution will help raise awareness of this crisis and illustrate the urgent need to enhance affordable housing opportunities and mental health resources for at-risk children and families everywhere.”

“This resolution recognizes November as National Runaway Prevention Month. It is critical to raise awareness about the resources available to address the youth runaway and child homelessness crisis that affects millions of children each year. I will continue to look for ways to improve support to children experiencing this traumatic circumstance and address the root causes of this crisis. I thank Senator Duckworth for her leadership on this Senate resolution,” said Durbin.

“Far too many Alaskans experience homelessness, a significant challenge for our state and communities. According to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, as of January 2020, about 1,900 Alaskans have experienced homelessness,” said Sen. Sullivan. “I’m glad to join Senator Duckworth in introducing a resolution that acknowledges the risk factors that often lead to homelessness—including limited education, foster care, and abuse—while also designating November as National Runaway Prevention Month.”

Each year, approximately 4.2 million youth run away from home or experience homelessness, leading many to become victims of human trafficking or be coerced into criminal activity. Senator Duckworth has introduced this resolution in the United States Senate with bipartisan support since 2017. 

National Runaway Prevention Month would coincide with anti-homeless programs and activities sponsored by national organizations, such as the National Network for Youth, and Illinois-based organizations, such as the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) and the Night Ministry, which all work to eradicate and prevent youth homelessness.

This resolution is endorsed by 20 leading organizations, including: National Network for Youth, National Runaway Safeline, SchoolHouse Connection, National Crittenton, Covenant House, National Youth Employment Coalition, American Youth Policy Forum, Coalition for Juvenile Justice, Rights4Girls, The McCain Institute, First Focus Campaign for Children, Center for Disability Rights, Forum for Youth Investment, Family Promise, Association of Children's Residential & Community services (ACRC), Boys Town, National Parents Union, National Association of Counsel for Children, National Safe Place Network and Children’s Rights.