FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 02/27/2017
Representative Thierry Files Bill to Help Homeless Students Succeed in College
Austin, Texas: Last week, Representative Shawn Thierry (Houston) proposed new legislation, HB 2355, specifically aimed to help homeless youth attend college and navigate through higher education resource programs. The bill will also give homeless students priority access to campus housing during, and in between semesters.
"Texas currently has over 113,000 homeless students in our public schools and that number is increasing yearly. Despite their circumstances, many of these vulnerable young people still have college aspirations and deserve the opportunity to earn a degree and a good living. Providing access to a designated point person at the college to assist with campus resources and housing during and in between semesters is a critical piece of this legislation."
"HB 2355 is in keeping with the spirit of Texas family values. We know that access to higher education provides the best chance for our homeless young people to succeed. Texas colleges and universities provide a stable and strong academic environment. This bill will not only keep our homeless young people from shuffling from place to place, but it will actually help them matriculate through college and become vital, productive Texans," said Rep. Thierry.
HB 2355 will require Texas colleges and universities to designate at least one employee to act as a liaison officer for students who are homeless. This liaison will provide students information regarding support services, including financial aid, on and off campus housing, food and meal plans, and counseling services. The bill will also require universities to give homeless students priority access to campus housing during the academic year and between semesters.
"I'm proud to say that my bill has a broad range of support from influential Texas groups like Texas CASA, School House Connection, Texas Association for the Protection of Children, Texas Appleseed, Texas Network of Youth Services, Texas Homeless Network, and One Voice Texas. All of these important groups are strong youth advocates and I look forward to working with them on this piece of legislation," stated Rep. Thierry.