Homeless teens testimony

From right, state Reps. Lori Stone (D-Warren), John Roth (R-Interlochen), and Amos O’Neal (D-Saginaw) testified in committee on House Bills 4085-87 on May 16, 2023, in the House Office Building in Lansing.

LANSING, Mich., Sept. 26, 2023 — The Families, Children and Seniors Committee took up bipartisan legislation affecting homeless and runaway youth today. House Bill 4085, sponsored by state Rep. Lori Stone (D-Warren), would require a youth shelter to obtain parental consent within 72 hours to continue providing services to homeless or runaway minors.

“Protecting our young people is one of the most important things that lawmakers can do. By ensuring that youth have access to a shelter, a safe place to go for at least 72 hours, while parental consent is sought, we are making sure that they are protected in a safe environment, are able to sleep in a warm bed, and are well-fed. By passing this out of committee, we are now one step closer to providing homeless and runaway youth with the care they need and protection from exploitation.” Stone said, “I am proud to do bipartisan work Rep. Roth to better serve Michigan’s vulnerable youth and protect them from potential human trafficking.”

House Bill 4086, sponsored by state Rep. John Roth (R-Interlochen), realigns Michigan’s definition with the federal guidance for youth population that can be housed up to age 21 for the purposes of preparing youth as they age out of foster care and for successful independent living.

“I’ve heard about this issue from so many families in my community,” said Roth. “There is a vital need to protect homeless and runaway youth in Michigan. This is not a partisan issue — it’s about the health and safety of vulnerable children. I firmly support these bills to offer at-risk minors in our state a safer path forward.”

This bipartisan bill package will now head to the house floor for a vote.