Senate passes Manchin amendment to help students experiencing homelessness

Washington DC

Washington, D.C. – This morning, by a unanimous vote, the Senate passed a bipartisan amendment to the COVID-19 relief package introduced by U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) to create a new, dedicated emergency funding stream through the U.S. Department of Education to help schools identify and assist students experiencing homelessness due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The amendment was cosponsored by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Rob Portman (R-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK).

“Every child deserves to feel safe with roof over their head and a warm bed to sleep in night after night. Unfortunately for 1.5 million children and youth across America and more than 10,000 children and youth in West Virginia, that is not the case. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased children and youth homelessness due to high unemployment, unstable living conditions, and job insecurity,” Senator Manchin said. “It is estimated that one in four children experiencing homelessness, about 420,000 children, are potentially unidentified and not connected with a school system. Research has also found that rural areas – like my home state of West Virginia – lack vital resources for our homeless children and youth, adding to their already heavy burdens. My amendment will help schools address this unacceptable issue by dedicating emergency funding to identify and assist students experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am pleased my bipartisan amendment passed in the final COVID-19 relief package and I thank my colleagues for prioritizing our children and youth in need.”

In the United States over 1.5 million children and youth are currently experiencing homelessness and in West Virginia alone there are over 10,000 homeless youth. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded this issue with high unemployment, unstable living conditions, and job insecurity, resulting in higher rates of homelessness in children, youth and families.

To view Senator Manchin deliver remarks on the Senate floor, click here.

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