Every day across the United States, LGBTQ young people count on federally funded runaway and homeless youth programs and resources.
From shelters to drop-in centers, federally-funded programs not only meet the immediate needs of youth experiencing homelessness, but help them build a stable foundation that leads to independence and self-sufficiency.
True Colors United works with the Federal Government to ensure vital funding, policies, systems, and protections are in place that meet the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning young people.
We want to make sure that no young person is homeless as a result of their sexual orientation or gender identity – and if they do experience homelessness, that the programs meant to help them are safe, inclusive, and affirming.
True Colors United Co-Founder & Board Member Cyndi Lauper testifies before Congress about ending LGBT youth homelessness.
We're Making LGBTQ Youth A Priority At The National Level.
Our biggest legislative priority in Washington, D.C. has been the reauthorization of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Trafficking Prevention Act. This piece of legislation funds and regulates runaway and homeless youth services such as street outreach programs, basic center programs, and transitional living programs. LGBTQ youth sometimes face discrimination when attempting to access these services, so we’re working to ensure that there’s a strong nondiscrimination policy in place to protect them.
Our top legislative priorities are to maintain funding for four key programs: Runaway and Homeless Youth, Education for Homeless Children and Youth, the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project, and the Homelessness Assistance Program. We do this by establishing strong relationships with staff on both the Congressional Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development and Labor, Health, and Human Services appropriations subcommittees. By leveraging and strengthening existing relationships with moderate and centrist members of Congress, we're ensuring that funding for key programs to end youth homelessness continues.
Through the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project (YHDP), the True Colors United is at the helm of informing equitable policy creation at Federal Agencies such as the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services - Family and Youth Services Bureau, as it pertains to preventing and ending youth homelessness. Additionally, we work to ensure that as new staff comes into federal agencies, that we provide education and insight on how create policies that will move the needle on youth homelessness.
It takes a team of like-minded individuals across multiple sectors to adequately advocate for ending youth homelessness. As such, the True Colors United carries out much of its advocacy activities via coalition, with memberships in the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding, the Housing Advocates Group. We also convene the National Coalition for Homeless Youth, which provides advocates real-time updates on appropriations and legislation that will impact youth experiencing homelessness.