Cov Hill Day Highlights 

Covenant House staff during Hill Day in front of Capitol Hill

Covenant House is the largest charitable organization in North and Central America serving children, youth, and young families experiencing homelessness including survivors of human trafficking. Annually, we reach 57,000 young people in 34 cities across five countries.  

Why do we go to the Hill? Because in the U.S. alone, more than 4.2 million young people experience homelessness each year. And as the U.S. faces a sharp decline in affordable housing, more young people will experience homelessness.  

Covenant House Hill Day CEO Bill Bedrossian and others in front of Ways and Means Committee of

As we look ahead toward building and shaping solutions for young people facing homelessness, make-or-break opportunities to pass legislation and support appropriations funding for trafficking services, affordable housing, and critical support like mental health, workforce development, and education, are on the table. As a leading expert, Covenant House is positioned to initiate and amplify conversations with representatives and appointed officials about how to best support the fight against youth homelessness. 

Covenant House advocates were leaders from Covenant House International, site CEOs, board members, and allies. On Cov Hill Day on June 12 they participated in over 30 meetings throughout the day presenting the most pressing issues we feel are vital to serving youth experiencing homelessness and will drive our efforts to promote meaningful legislation to Congress. Some of the key meetings that took place included:  Rep. Danny Davis (D IL-07), Rep. Lizzy Fletcher (D TX-07), Rep. Chris Smith (R NJ-04) CHNJ, Rep. Delia Ramirez (D IL-03),  Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Sen. Ralph Warnock (D-GA), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R AK), and Cheri Hoffman, deputy commissioner of ACF (providing oversite of Runaway Homeless Youth program and child welfare). At the White House, we met with Catherine Powell, Senior Advisor to the White House Gender Policy Council, and Laurie Schoeman, Senior Advisor on Housing, Domestic Policy Council. 

Covenant House Hill Day staff and advocates in front of The Seal of the State of Washington 1889

To fully represent the strength and dedication of our greater Cov community, in advance of Cov Hill Day, we invited our digital supporters to share their thoughts with us, concerns we carried with us to Congress. From a list of five critical issues, we asked what is most important to them. About 300 advocates contributed their thoughts and shared that their top priority is “advancing solutions to end youth homelessness.” We hear you loud and clear! Here at Covenant House, we are not just looking for ways to help youth experiencing homelessness today. We are working toward permanent solutions that will prevent youth from becoming homeless in the first place — and Congress can help by reauthorizing The Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act.  

On behalf of the entire community, all the Cov Hill Day advocates requested support for the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention program, which is critical to our network’s ability to maintain and improve resources, including our transitional living services. RHYTPA is wildly underfunded, with only 25% of qualified applicants receiving support.  

Covenant House staff and advocates in Capitol Hill

More than 200 digital advocates expressed a desire for more direct care services for young survivors of human trafficking and to end the exploitation of children and youth throughout the U.S, Canada, and Latin America. While in Washington D.C., our Cov Hill Day participants advocated for policies such as shelter support, mental health care, education services, and life skills and job training for trafficking survivors.  

Covenant House will continue to push for new and renewed legislation that will not only impact young people today but will contribute to a future free from homelessness for all children and youth. 

Covenant House Hill Day advocates and staff

We are so grateful to the group of leaders who came together with Covenant House International in Washington, D.C., for our first Cov Hill Day. Board member Mark Hennessy articulated how meaningful it is “being at the table with legislators on issues of critical importance to our federation. And doing it with CEOs from across the Covenant House affiliates really amplified the message.”

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