photo credit: agatha sea
March 24, 2017
Wyoming Passes Protections for Homeless Youth
The Wyoming legislature recently passed HB 159 which helps to empower youth experiencing homelessness and provides them supports to reduce the likelihood that these youth end up in the system.
“We have long recognized that youth experiencing homelessness are at risk of being involved in the juvenile justice system,” said Donna Sheen WYCLC Director. “Wyoming Children’s Law Center was pleased to provide support for the passage of HB 159.” As passed, the bill would allow unaccompanied minors experiencing homelessness to obtain their own birth certificates, consent for housing and services, get a job, buy a car, and sign up for college.”
WYCLC has been providing support for children and family deemed Children in Need of Supervision (CHINs) by state code, including youth experiencing homelessness since the organization’s inception. “In providing legal support, WYCLC has seen firsthand how youth can thrive when supported by their community,” said Sheen. Over the past few years, the organization has worked to educate legislators and the public about the variety of services available to assist young people and keep them out of the system.
“This passage of protections for homeless youth is a critical first step in Wyoming. With this legislation, the state has recognized that increasing access and supports can eliminate barriers to youth success while increasing public safety.”