NAEHCY Legislative Update!

NAEHCY Legislative Alert
GAO Releases New Report:

“Actions Needed to Improve Federal Financial Assistance for Homeless and Foster Youth”

Today, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on the challenges and barriers affecting the ability of homeless and foster youth to pursue a college education.

GAO is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the “congressional watchdog,” GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. GAO reports often are used by Members of Congress and federal agencies in crafting policy and legislation.

GAO analyzed the most recently available federal education data—two enrollment data sets, for 2011-2012 and 2013-2014, and data on college completion from 2009; reviewed relevant federal laws and guidance; interviewed officials from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as well as external groups knowledgeable about higher education, foster youth, and homelessness; and held discussion groups with foster and homeless youth.

Among the report’s findings are:

Burdensome program rules can hinder the ability of homeless and foster youth to access federal supports.
Extensive documentation requests can impede access to aid for homeless youth.
Annual re-verification of homelessness poses barriers for unaccompanied homeless youth.
Limited academic preparation, family support, and awareness of resources make it harder for homeless and foster youth to pursue college.
Age eligibility rules hinder some foster youths’ access to Chafee Education and Training Vouchers.
Data show foster youth complete college to a lesser extent than other students, while little is known about college outcomes for homeless youth.

GAO makes six recommendations to ED and HHS to improve homeless and foster youths’ access to financial assistance for college, including clarifying ED guidance, considering legislative proposals to simplify requirements for federal programs for homeless and foster youth, and centralizing college information for these youth on ED’s website.

To read the full report, visit:  GAO report

To learn more about NAEHCY’s Higher Education Initiative, visit: Higher Education Reources

Madison Teachers Inc. raises over $10,000 for the Youth Shelter!


Sunday April 12, 2015, teachers, administrators, school board members,  state representatives and community partners bowled and raised money for the Briarpatch Shelter.

Briarpatch hopes to open the shelter in the fall, it’s badly needed and the rooms have been sitting empty for over year.    🙁

Click here for a news link about the event: MTI Bowl-A-Thon April 2015

Film Screenings Sunday February 24, 2013

Want to see the MRFY film, hear some great music and hear a thought provoking message too?

MRFY has been invited to show the film after the 9AM and the 11AM services at :

First Unitarian Society
900 University Bay Drive
Madison, WI, 53705

Click on this link to read about the service:

Join us for the screening and the discussion afterwards.

Upcoming showings of the Make Room For Youth film

The beat goes on…..

More public showings of the film:

The Dane County Homeless Issues Committee has invited MRFY to the March 26th meeting, 6:30, City County Building , 3rd Floor.

We will show the film and have a discussion, come join us!

Members of the committee are:

Deedra Atkinson Member
Ronnie Barbett Member
Mike Basford Member
Dianne Hesselbein Member County Board Supervisor
Bridget Maniaci Member
Sofia Martinez Member
Larry Palm Member
Leland Pan Member County Board Supervisor
Steve Schooler Member
Heidi Wegleitner Member County Board Supervisor
Ulysses Williams Member
Chief Nobel Wray Member
Nick Zweifel Member County Board Supervisor


MRFY will show the film at the Homeless  Consortium meeting Tuesday February 5 , at the United Way , 1955 Atwood Ave. The meeting is from 12:00 – 1:00

Another showing will be at the Annual Game Night at West High School, March 2013 (date to be determined).

The National Honor Society membership at West is sponsoring the night as a fund raiser and ALL of the proceeds will go to MRFY!!!

Homeless Youth Awareness Event at the State Capitol MARCH 12th!


On TUESDAY, MARCH 12th, Rep. Chris Taylor, Rep. Melissa Sargent and Rep. Amy Loudenbeck co-hosted a Legislative Symposium on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth from 1:00 – 3:00 at the State Capitol in room 411 South.

Participants included Green Bay, Beloit, Janesville and Madison school staff and youth advocates. Three short films from three different  areas of Wisconsin  highlighted the young people in those communities who experience homelessness and are doing so without parents or guardians. These are stories of kids on their own who are trying to stay in school while being responsible for their own housing and safety.

The new State Department of Children and Families Office of Youth Services, Wendy Henderson attended as well as legislators from across the state.

What great promise this day holds for our state and what hope we have for changes to be made that will help youth find more safe places to stay.

Make Room For Youth: The first Short Film!

MRFY is very very proud to announce that the short film created for MRFY by film maker Will Nimmow is now available for viewing!

View the first few minutes of the Film Make Room For Youth on youtube by clicking HERE

We are VERY happy to arrange a showing of the entire film. Please contact us about hosting an event.

The flowing and poignant narrative tells the stories of youth who were homeless and alone in Madison, Wisconsin.  While their stories are compelling, what they give us is a glimpse into the world of scores of others in our community.The additional voice of our street outreach worker ties the two stories to the stories that are not told in this film, the stories of 10, 20, 50 or more youth, on their own tonight.