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Summary: HB 2240 would require the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, along with numerous other agencies, to collect data on the number of homeless youth in Texas, examine their needs and the degree to which current programs are meeting their needs, and identify any sources of that might be available to provide services to such youth. HB 2240 defines “homeless youth” as not only those youth that spend nights in public or private place “ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for humans,” but also as youth that have found other accommodation, such as staying at another family’s residence due to economic hardship, or living in a motel, hotel, trailer park or camping ground.
Analysis: HB 2240 is a bill that can help address homelessness among youth by gauging how many youth are homeless and what can be done for them. However, this bill would require agencies to study people that have taken responsibility and found accommodations that humans would normally seek, such as a friend’s house or a hotel. Finding these youth for the purpose of giving them government help does not promote their choice to take personal responsibility and find adequate accommodation. This study should focus on the youth that have not found such accommodations. Vote, “no,” on HB 2240 unless it is amended to strike Sections 2306.1101 (1) (a-b).
UPDATE: With the successful adoption of the author's amendment, we are neutral on this legislation.