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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: October 21, 2013 09:46 AM
From: Representative Ted Harhai and Rep. Keith Gillespie
To: All House members
Subject: A Resolution authorizing a study on homelessness in Pennsylvania
In the near future, we plan to introduce a resolution that directs the Joint State Government Commission to establish a bipartisan legislative task force and advisory committee to conduct a study on the occurrence, effects and trends of homelessness in Pennsylvania. The commission’s findings and recommendations would be reported to the House of Representatives within two years of adoption.

The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty estimates as many as two million people will experience homelessness this year. Statistics show that family, veteran and chronic homelessness have all risen in Pennsylvania between 2011 and 2012. Adequate and permanent shelter is a basic need, and its absence has a harmful effect on physical and mental health, personal development, and the ability to exercise individual rights and obligations. The number of individuals and families without permanent shelter continues to grow, and the number of people at high risk of becoming homeless is even larger.

Children are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. Children of all ages are negatively impacted by homelessness in the areas of physical health, emotional and behavioral development, and academic success. Obstacles like frequent moves disrupt homeless children’s education, often setting them back academically three to six months as well as making these students twice as likely to repeat a grade and 60 percent more likely to drop out of school.

As communities across the Commonwealth continue to cope with the economic and homelessness crises, this resolution provides an important push in the direction of constructive solutions. We hope you join us in this bipartisan endeavor to eradicate homelessness in Pennsylvania.

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Introduced as HR550