Senator Collins Leads Hearing on Fight to End Youth Homelessness

Singer, Activist Cyndi Lauper Offers Testimony

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 30, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, led a hearing today to examine the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s efforts to prevent and end youth homelessness. The hearing’s witnesses included True Colors Fund Co-Founder and Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award winning artist, Cyndi Lauper.

In her opening remarks, Senator Collins began by highlighting the severity of youth homelessness across America, stating the staggering statistic that, “According to HUD’s 2014 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count, there are more than 194,300 homeless children and youth, representing nearly one-third of all homeless people. Of this total, 45,205 were unaccompanied homeless children and youth, which is nearly eight percent of the total homeless population.” Senator Collins continued, “Ending youth homelessness requires cooperation and coordination across federal agencies, at different levels of government, and in partnership with the philanthropic and non-profit sector.”

Senator Collins pointed to the importance of legislation such as the Runaway and Homeless Youth Trafficking Prevention Act, which despite receiving a majority vote, fell short of the 60-vote threshold required for inclusion in the final passage of the anti-trafficking bill last week. Senator Collins noted, “Our amendment would have reauthorized those critical preventive and treatment services that help homeless youth around the country,” and underscored that she, “will continue to advocate for passage of this important legislation.”

Activist, Singer, and Co-Founder of the True Colors Fund, Cyndi Lauper presented powerful testimony on her work to end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. Lauper began by discussing her personal experience with youth homelessness, stating, “I, myself, was homeless too young as a teen. I could have lost my future, but I was lucky. I found a youth hostel that helped me and put me on the road to getting a GED and back into society. I found a doorway back in.”

Lauper went on to explain the work the True Colors Fund is undertaking: “Through a broad continuum of public education and engagement, advocacy and public policy, youth collaboration, research, and community building programs, the True Colors Fund is working in partnership with our friends across multiple sectors to build a comprehensive national system that values prevention, early intervention, crisis response, and permanency equally.”

Click the links below for downloadable photos from today’s hearing:

Photo 1: Cyndi Lauper testifies in hearing
Photo 2: Cyndi Lauper testifies in hearing (2)

Click the links below for downloadable video from today’s hearing:

Video 1: Senator Collins opening statement
Video 2: Cyndi Lauper’s testimony

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