Tell State Senate to Pass Reforms for Homeless Youth Services

(March 2024) Two bipartisan House bills supporting youth who become homeless, HB 4085 and 4086, were approved by the full House last year and were adopted by the Senate’s Housing and Human Services Committee in November 2023. They continue to await final action by the Senate. Your support could help get these bills over the finish line. (See ways to contact your state senator below.)

HB 4085 allows homeless youth service providers up to 72 hours instead of the current allowable 24 hours to find a parent/guardian to consent to services before having to refer a child to Child Protective Services. Youth-focused advocates including Michigan’s Children and the Michigan Network for Youth and Families, are urging lawmakers to make the change because too many young people are falling prey to sex and labor traffickers and other forms of victimization when living on the streets.

Many who have run away from home or are otherwise estranged from their families are unable to immediately seek or receive their parents’ consent. Shelters often step in to help reunify youth with their families, but some need just a little more time to find a family member. According to Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan, shelters served only 11 percent of unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness in 2019.

HB 4086 would create a specific definition for the licensure of organizations that serve homeless youth in order to put an end to some recent unintended consequences that stem from licensing changes to other youth-service agencies.

Please support these bills by contacting your state Senator. Find your Senator here.