Letters to the Editor

Saturday, Jun 16 2012 11:00 PM

Common-sense bill for homeless kids

By The Bakersfield Californian

Thanks to Louis Medina of the United Way of Kern County for highlighting child homelessness in his June 12 Community Voices piece, "Our plan: House area's 12 most at-risk street folk and save lives." It's a problem Rep. Kevin McCarthy can help to solve.

More than 700,000 homeless children lead transient lives -- hotel one night, a friend's couch the next. The roof over their heads isn't theirs, and they may lose it tomorrow. In every way that matters, they're homeless.

But the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says they're not, technically. So HUD won't help them find a safe place to stay, food or clothing. HUD's definition actually ignores an estimated three-fourths of homeless kids.

The Homeless Children and Youth Act, by Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill., fixes the problem, making HUD's definition reflect reality. And McCarthy serves on the congressional committee with jurisdiction over the bill.

With his leadership, we can pass this common-sense legislation, make government work better and help homeless children.

Bruce Lesley

First Focus Campaign for Children

Washington, D.C.

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