On January 25, Law Center Director of Human Rights & Children’s Rights Programs Eric Tars gave the keynote address at the Educational Forum on Homeless Youth in Houston, Texas, hosted by One Voice Texas (OVT). He educated participants about the rights of homeless youth in Texas, shared best practices from other states, and provided direction in their campaign to revise laws and policies to better meet these young people’s needs.
Lillian Aguirre Ortiz, Director of Behavioral Health Policy and Government Relations for OVT, contacted the Law Center following our publication of Alone Without A Home: A State-By-State Review of Laws Affecting Unaccompanied Homeless Youth.
“We can’t thank the Law Center enough for sharing its expertise in this area,” Aguirre Ortiz said following the forum, noting that the knowledge shared by the Law Center and other groups will be critical to OVT and its partners as they develop short and long-term plans to “lead [the] community toward strategic, effective, and concrete solutions that meet the needs of our homeless youth.”
Tars’ keynote followed an opening address by Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who spoke passionately of her personal commitment to ending homelessness, inspired in part by her adoption of a youth who had been kicked out of his home. She called on the entire community to work collaboratively to address the needs of homeless youth, pledging the support of the mayor’s office.