Each year, an estimated 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness in the United States
Homeless youth across the nation experience many common systemic challenges. Minors, in particular, are likely to face significant barriers accessing health and mental health services, obtaining government-issued identification cards and birth certificates, and enrolling in school. Homeless youth are also more likely to encounter the juvenile or criminal justice systems. All of these are obstacles to exiting homelessness and achieving a stable living arrangement.
To address some of these challenges, the Missouri General Assembly passed HB 1414 in 2020. This omnibus bill, carried by Representative Sheila Solon (R), passed with bipartisan support. Representative Solon describes the legislation as “one of the most impactful bills” passed in her eight years in the legislature. It was “a bipartisan effort, where we worked together to get it passed and help the children of our state. A big moment for all of us. Everyone was very proud.”