The new bill that could make assistance for homeless children a reality

How donating your car in Columbus can change kids’ lives for good

Have you ever had an issue at the DMV? Most of us have at one time or another, and we can all probably agree that it’s pretty inconvenient. You have to find your title and registration, get things notarized, and sometimes you have to make multiple trips to different offices.

>But now imagine that the documentation required from you isn’t for your tags or new plates, but rather for food, shelter and aid.

Now imagine you’re a homeless child.

Suddenly, finding a few pieces of documentation is no longer a mild inconvenience, but instead, a life-and-death obstacle.

It may sound like a bad dream, but unfortunately this is the harsh reality many homeless children face today. Currently, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which provides housing, aid and other services, requires written documentation that a homeless child is, in fact, homeless.

Since providing proof and written documentation is extremely difficult for people without stable living conditions, the current system leads to many homeless children ending up unaccounted for.

For instance, during the 2011-2012 school year, the Department of Education recognized 24,236 children in Ohio as homeless. However, HUD's survey only counted 6,206 households with one or more homeless child.

This massive disparity has kept about 900,000 homeless children and families from participating in the qualification programs that could greatly improve their quality of life.

The (proposed) solution

HUD’s existing requirements make it difficult, if not impossible, for many homeless children to get the housing and aid they need to live a stable, healthy life.

That’s why, on July 24, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced the Homeless Children and Youth Act. This legislation is designed to expand HUD’s definition of “homeless” to match the definition used by most other homeless youth programs. This will allow young people recognized as homeless by the Department of Education and other federal agencies to be eligible for HUD assistance.

The bill also allows local officials to prioritize homeless individuals or families who are in desperate need.

How you can help

First, you can support the Homeless Children and Youth Act.

Additionally, if you’d like to make a difference in the lives of homeless Ohio families and children you can donate a car, truck, or other vehicle to Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio. We’ll take nearly anything with a motor, including tractors, boats and RVs.

Your donation is tax-deductible, and when you donate to Volunteers of America, you are helping us reach our fundraising goals in all of the Ohio communities we serve. Please contact the Car Donation & Auction Office at 614-870-7511 if you have any questions or would like to arrange free same-day towing. We close at 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and at 2 p.m. on Saturday.