From the Mass. Coalition for the Homeless:
Accompany the Youth! February 6th State House Call-In Day to Push for Passage of House Bill 135
One of the Coalition’s major goals for 2014 is to win passage of House Bill 135, An Act providing housing and support services to unaccompanied homeless youth (Lead sponsor: Rep. Jim O’Day).
This session, the bill initially was assigned to the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities. On August 12, 2013, the Committee reported the bill out favorably, and now it is before the House Committee on Ways and Means. With only 6 months of formal sessions left for this legislative cycle, we need to ramp up our advocacy in support of House Bill 135 and all of those unaccompanied youth and young adults who are in need of housing and services.
Please take a few minutes this Thursday, February 6th to call your State Representative and State Senator to ask them to actively support the bill and to express their support to legislative leadership. The time to act on House Bill 135 and meet the needs of unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness is now!
A bill fact sheet and additional materials from our “Accompany the Youth!” campaign can be found here.
Legislators can be reached directly through the numbers listed here for Representatives and here for Senators or through the State House switchboard: 617-722-2000.
Check the list on the top of the fact sheet to see if your Representative and/or Senator is a sponsor of the bill. If so, please thank her/him and encourage further commitment and action on behalf of unaccompanied youth. If not, let your legislators know it is not too late to use their power to help pass this critical bill this session.
Sample Script for Call-In Day
Not sure what to say when you call your State Representative and State Senator on Thursday? Here is a short sample script:
“Hello, my name is ____. I live at (street address) in (city/town). I am calling to ask (name of legislator) to express (her/his) strong support for House Bill 135, An Act providing housing and support services for unaccompanied homeless youth, to Legislative Leadership. Right now, this bill is awaiting action by the House Committee on Ways and Means. As a constituent, I want (her/him) to know that swift action is needed, as thousands of unaccompanied youth, teenagers and young adults in their early 20s, are experiencing homelessness out on their own, without a safety net. Could you please follow-up with me to let me know what actions the legislator plans to take? Thank you for your time!”
Once you make your calls, please email us to share any feedback from your legislators.