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H.R. 5524 (110th): Reconnecting Homeless Youth Act of 2008

The text of the bill below is as of Mar 4, 2008 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

I

110th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5524

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 4, 2008

(for himself, Mrs. Biggert, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Hinojosa, Mr. Cohen, Ms. Berkley, Mr. Chandler, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Mr. Holt, Ms. Schakowsky, Ms. Bordallo, and Mr. Davis of Illinois) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor

A BILL

To amend the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act to authorize appropriations, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Reconnecting Homeless Youth Act of 2008.

2.

Findings

Section 302 of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (42 U.S.C. 5701) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating paragraphs (3), (4), and (5) as paragraphs (4), (5), and (6), respectively, and

(2)

by inserting after paragraph (2) the following:

(3)

services to such young people should be developed and provided using a positive youth development approach that ensures the young person a sense of—

(A)

safety and structure;

(B)

belonging and membership;

(C)

self-worth and social contribution;

(D)

independence and control over one’s life; and

(E)

closeness in interpersonal relationships.

.

3.

Basic center program

(a)

Services provided

Section 311(a) of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (42 U.S.C. 5711(a)) is amended—

(1)

by amending paragraph (2)(B)(i) to read as follows:

(i)

safe and appropriate shelter provided not to exceed 15 days, or not to exceed 21 days if the center is located in a State or locality with a child or youth-serving-facility licensure law or regulation that permits a length of stay in excess of 15 days; and

, and

(2)

in subsection (b)(2)—

(A)

by striking $100,000 and inserting $150,000,

(B)

by striking $45,000 and inserting $70,000, and

(C)

by adding at the end the following:

Whenever the Secretary determines than any part of the amount allotted under paragraph (1) with respect to a State will not be obligated before the end of the fiscal year, the Secretary shall reallot such part with respect to the remaining States for obligation for such fiscal year.

.

(b)

Eligibility

Section 312(b) of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (42 U.S.C. 5712(b)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (11) by striking and at the end,

(2)

in paragraph (12) by striking the period and inserting ; and, and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(13)

shall develop an adequate emergency preparedness and management plan.

.

(c)

Definition

Section 387(3)(A) of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (42 U.S.C. 5732a(3)(A)) is amended—

(1)

in clause (i)—

(A)

by striking not more than 21 and inserting less than 22;

(B)

by striking not more than 18 and inserting less than 18; and

(C)

by inserting unless the center is located in a State or locality with a child- or youth-serving facility licensure law or regulation that permits a higher age before the semicolon; and

(2)

in clause (ii) by inserting less than 22 years of age and after part B,.

4.

Transitional living grant program

(a)

Eligibility

Section 322(a) of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (42 U.S.C. 5714–2(a)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (2)—

(A)

by striking , except and inserting (except, and

(B)

by striking period; and inserting the following:

period) or, if the program is located in a State or locality with a child- or youth-serving facility licensure law or regulation that permits a length of stay in excess of such 540-day period, a continuous period not to exceed 635 days;

,

(2)

in paragraph (14) by striking and at the end,

(3)

in paragraph (15) by striking the period and inserting ; and, and

(4)

by adding at the end the following:

(16)

to develop an adequate emergency preparedness and management plan.

.

5.

Coordinating, training, research, and other activities

Part D of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (42 U.S.C. 5714–21 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

345.

Periodic estimate of incidence and prevalence of youth homelessness

(a)

Periodic estimate

Not later than 2 years after the effective date of this section and at 5-year intervals thereafter, the Secretary shall prepare, and submit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate, a written report—

(1)

by using the best quantitative and qualitative social science research method available, containing an estimate of the incidence and prevalence of runaway and homeless individuals who are less than 26 years of age and not less than 13 years of age; and

(2)

that includes with such estimate an assessment of the characteristics of such individuals.

(b)

Content

Each assessment required by subsection (a) shall include—

(1)

the results of conducting a survey of, and direct interviews with, a representative sample of runaway and homeless individuals who are less than 26 years of age and not less than 13 years of age to determine past and current—

(A)

socioeconomic characteristics of such individuals;

(B)

barriers to such individuals obtaining—

(i)

safe, quality, and affordable housing;

(ii)

comprehensive and affordable health insurance and health services; and

(iii)

incomes, public benefits, supportive services, and connections to caring adults; and

(C)

such other information that the Secretary determines, in consultation with States, units of local government, and national nongovernmental organizations concerned with homelessness, may be useful.

(c)

Implementation

If the Secretary enters into any contract with a non-Federal entity for purposes of carrying out subsection (a), such entity shall be a nongovernmental organization, or an individual, determined by the Secretary to have appropriate expertise in quantitative and qualitative social science research.

.

6.

Report

(a)

In general

Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall submit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate, a report based on the best quantitative research method available and containing an estimate of—

(1)

the public service costs, including law enforcement, emergent and urgent health services (including crisis mental health and substance abuse services), child welfare services, juvenile and criminal justice services, and public income benefits costs, attributable to such services being provided to runaway and homeless individuals who are less than 26 years of age and not less than 13 years of age, and

(2)

the extent to which the public service cost reductions offset the costs of providing family reunification, emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent housing, and supportive services to such individuals.

(b)

Implementation

If the Secretary carries out subsection (a) by contract with an non-Federal entity, such entity shall be a nongovernmental organization or an individual determined by the Secretary to have appropriate expertise in quantitative and qualitative social science research.

7.

National homeless youth awareness campaign

The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (42 U.S.C. 5601 et seq.) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating part F as part G,

(2)

by inserting after part E the following:

F

National homeless youth awareness campaign

361.

National homeless youth awareness campaign

(a)

In general

The Secretary shall, directly or via contract, conduct a national homeless youth awareness campaign (referred to in this section as the national awareness campaign) in accordance with this section for purposes of—

(1)

preventing runaway and homeless situations among youth in the United States;

(2)

increasing awareness of individuals of all ages of the issues facing youth in runaway and homeless situations;

(3)

assisting youth in crisis situations learn about resources and services available in their communities to intervene in or resolve the crisis; and

(4)

encouraging parents and guardians, educators, health care professionals, social service professionals, law enforcement officials, and other interested adults to assist youth in averting or resolving runaway and homeless situations.

(b)

Use of funds

(1)

In general

Amounts made available to carry out this section for the national awareness campaign may only be used for the following:

(A)

The purchase of media time and space, including the strategic planning for, and accounting of, such purchases.

(B)

Creative and talent costs.

(C)

Advertising production costs.

(D)

Testing and evaluation of advertising.

(E)

Evaluation of the effectiveness of the national media campaign.

(F)

The negotiated fees for the winning bidder on requests for proposals issued by the Secretary to enter into contracts to carry out activities authorized by this section.

(G)

Partnerships with national organizations concerned with youth homelessness, community-based youth service organizations, including faith-based organizations, and government organizations related to the national awareness campaign.

(H)

Outreach activities to stakeholders and potential stakeholders in the national awareness campaign.

(I)

Operational and management expenses.

(2)

Specific requirements

(A)

Testing and evaluation of advertising

In using amounts for testing and evaluation of advertising under paragraph (1)(D), the Secretary shall test all advertisements prior to use in the national awareness campaign to ensure that the advertisements are effective and meet industry-accepted standards.

(B)

Evaluation of effectiveness of awareness campaign

In using amounts for the evaluation of the effectiveness of the national awareness campaign under paragraph (1)(E), the Secretary shall—

(i)

designate an independent entity to evaluate the effectiveness of the national awareness campaign; and

(ii)

ensure that the effectiveness of the national awareness campaign is evaluated in a manner that enables consideration of whether the national awareness has contributed to reducing runaway and homeless situations among youth, linking runaway and homeless youth to resources and services available in their communities, and such other measures of evaluation as the Secretary determinates are appropriate.

(c)

Prohibitions

None of the amounts made available under subsection (b) may be obligated or expended for any of the following:

(1)

To supplant pro bono public service time donated by national and local broadcasting networks for the national awareness campaign.

(2)

For partisan political purposes, or express advocacy in support of or to defeat any clearly identified candidate, clearly identified ballot initiative, or clearly identified legislative or regulatory proposal.

(3)

To fund advertising that features any elected officials, persons seeking elected office, cabinet level officials, or other Federal employees employed pursuant to section 213 of Schedule C of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations.

(4)

To fund advertising that does not contain a primary message intended to reduce or prevent runaway and homeless situations among youth.

(5)

To fund advertising that solicits contributions from both public and private sources to support the national awareness campaign.

(d)

Financial and performance accountability

The Secretary shall cause to be performed—

(1)

audits and reviews of costs of the national awareness campaign pursuant to section 304C of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (41 U.S.C. 254d); and

(2)

an audit to determine whether the costs of the national awareness campaign are allowable under section 306 of such Act (41 U.S.C. 256).

(e)

Report

The Secretary shall include in each report submitted under section 381(a) a summary of the national awareness campaign that describes—

(1)

the strategy of the national awareness campaign and whether specific objectives of the media campaign were accomplished;

(2)

steps taken to ensure that the national awareness campaign operates in an effective and efficient manner consistent with the overall strategy and focus of the national awareness campaign;

(3)

plans to purchase advertising time and space;

(4)

policies and practices implemented to ensure that Federal funds are used responsibly to purchase advertising time and space and eliminate the potential for waste, fraud, and abuse; and

(5)

all contracts entered into with a corporation, partnership, or individual working on behalf of the national awareness campaign.

, and

(3)

in section 388(a)—

(A)

in paragraph (1) by striking part E and inserting parts E and F, and

(B)

by adding at the end the following:

(5)

Part f

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out part F $3,000,000 for fiscal years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

.

8.

Grants for research evaluation, demonstration, and service projects

Section 343(b) Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (42 U.S.C. 5714–23(b)) is amended to read as follows:

(b)

Priorities

The Secretary—

(1)

shall establish priorities for making grants for purposes of carrying out projects under subsection (a); and

(2)

not later than 1 year after the effective date of this subsection and at 2-year intervals thereafter, shall provide an opportunity for public comment concerning the priorities proposed under paragraph (1) and maintain an official record of such public comment.

.

9.

Sexual abuse prevention program

Section 351(b) Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (42 U.S.C. 5714–41(b)) is amended by inserting public and after priority to.

10.

Performance Standards

Part G, as so redesignated, of Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (42 U.S.C. 5714a et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

390.

Performance standards

(a)

Establishment of performance standards

Not later than 2 years after the effective date of this section, the Secretary shall issue rules that specify standards of performance for public and nonprofit private entities that receive grants under sections 311, 321 and 351.

(b)

Consultation

The Secretary shall consult with representatives of public and nonprofit entities that receive grants under this title, statewide and regional nonprofit organizations (and combinations of such organizations) that receive grants under this title, and national nonprofit organizations concerned with youth homelessness in developing the performance standards required by subsection (a).

(c)

Public comment

The Secretary shall provide an opportunity for public comment concerning the establishment of the performance standards required by subsection (a) before issuing rules to establish such standards and shall maintain an official record of such public comment.

.

11.

Appeals

Part G, as so redesignated and as amended by section 10, of Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (42 U.S.C. 5714a et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

391.

Appeals

(a)

Establishment of appeal procedure

Not later than 2 years after the effective date of this section, the Secretary shall establish by rule a timely appeal procedure applicable to review the amounts of grants made, and the denial of grants requested, under this title.

(b)

Consultation

The Secretary shall consult with representatives of public and nonprofit private entities that receive grants under this title, statewide and regional nonprofit organizations (and combinations of such organizations) that receive grants under this title, and national nonprofit organizations concerned with youth homelessness in establishing the appeal procedure required by subsection (a).

(c)

Public comment

The Secretary shall provide an opportunity for public comment concerning the establishment of the appeal procedure required by subsection (a) before issuing rules to establish such procedure and shall maintain an official record of such public comment.

.

12.

Definition

Section 387 Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (42 U.S.C. 5732a) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating paragraphs (4), (5), (6), and (7) as paragraphs (5), (6), (7), and (8), respectively, and

(2)

by inserting after paragraph (3) the following:

(4)

Runaway Youth

The term runaway youth means an individual who is less than 18 years of age and who absents himself or herself from home or place of legal residence without the permission of parents or legal guardians.

.

13.

Authorization of appropriations

Section 388(a) Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (42 U.S.C. 5751(a)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1)—

(A)

by striking $105,000,000 for fiscal year 2004 and inserting $150,000,000 for fiscal year 2009, and

(B)

by striking 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 and inserting 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 , and

(2)

in paragraph (4) by striking such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 and inserting $30,000,000 for fiscal year 2009 and such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.