Senate passes amendment to help students experiencing homelessness

Senate passes amendment to help students experiencing homelessness
Sen. Joe Manchin, D- W.Va., speaks during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on Federal Communications Commission spectrum auctions program for FY2021 on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, June 16, 2020, in Washington. (Source: Toni Sandys/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

WASHINGTON, DC. (WHSV) - The US Senate unanimously passed Sunday morning a bipartisan amendment to the COVID-19 relief package that aids students experiencing homelessness.

The amendment, introduced by Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), creates an 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.” 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.”

Manchin said his amendment will help schools address the issue by dedicating emergency funding to identify and assist students experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

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