SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Legislation introduced by state Rep. Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, to help prevent youth homelessness recently passed the Illinois House.
“Too many young people across Illinois suffer from homelessness, but there is so much that we can do to make sure that this is prevented,” Slaughter said. “It is critical that we implement policies to ensure that children and teens have a safe place to call home and are not at risk of becoming homeless.”
Slaughter’s House Bill 2983 will create the Youth Homelessness Prevention Subcommittee in the Governor’s Cabinet on Children and Youth. The committee aims to better understand the causes of youth homelessness and coordinate efforts to prevent it while measuring the efficacy of youth homelessness prevention programming. To ensure a diverse perspective, the committee will be composed of representatives from several agencies such as the Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of Juvenile Justice and other social service agencies that work with homeless youth in Illinois. The committee will study the outcomes of youth discharged from state or guardian care for a year after their release to create more effective programs to combat youth homelessness.
“Youth in Illinois should not need to worry about whether or not they will have a place to sleep at night,” Slaughter said. “As legislators, we have a responsibility to ensure safety and shelter to our most vulnerable young people. This legislation will take the steps needed to help make sure that no child is left without a home.”