November 22, 2019
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced a bipartisan resolution to recognize November as National Runaway Prevention Month. If passed, the resolution would 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), Patty Murray (D-WA) also joined the Senator’s in introducing 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. “This resolution 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.”
“Every year, a staggering number of children and young adults throughout the country run away from their families and experience unaccompanied homelessness,” said Senator Sullivan. “Raising awareness and ending youth homelessness is an issue that we should all care about and work towards. I’m grateful for Senator Duckworth’s work on this issue and this resolution and I’m pleased to put my name on it.”
“By recognizing November as National Runaway Prevention Month, we can shine a spotlight on the resources available to address child homelessness and causes of children running away,” Durbin said. “As we work to address this crisis, we must first focus on ensuring these homeless and runaway children are safe, supported, and off the streets. My hope is that together we continue to better help these at-risk youths who are experiencing traumatic circumstances.”
“Shining a light on people that are oftentimes overlooked is one of the greatest responsibilities I have in public office,” said Senator Scott. “On this National Runaway Prevention Month, it’s important that we increase public awareness of our most vulnerable populations and encourage action and partnerships in our neighborhoods and communities.”
Approximately 4.2 million youth run away or experience homelessness each year and many become victims of human trafficking. Homeless youth are also more likely to be coerced into participating in criminal activity. Duckworth introduced this resolution last year with former Republican Senator Orrin Hatch.
National Runaway Prevention Month would coincide 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 support the resolution: National Network for Youth (NN4Y), National Safe Place Network, National Center for Housing and Child Welfare, SchoolHouse Connection, Covenant House International.
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