Bullock, Petrarca: homelessness prevention events in Harrisburg on Monday, Nov. 14

HARRISBURG, Nov. 10 – Educating Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Awareness Week begins Monday, culminating in Red Shirt Day on Friday, Nov. 18, said state Rep. Donna Bullock, who sponsored a House resolution commemorating the week.

A news conference in the Capitol Rotunda will take place at 11 a.m. Monday. The news conference will occur during Housing Alliance of PA’s Homes within Reach Conference – a full day of panels and events centering on homelessness prevention that will take place at the Harrisburg Hilton.

Slated to speak in the Capitol are:

  • Sonia Pitzi, Office for the Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness

  • Liz Hersh, director, City of Philadelphia, Office of Homeless Services

  • Cindy Daley, policy director for the Housing Alliance

  • Liam Spady, The Advocacy Institute (youth advocate)

More information about the Homes within Reach Conference, which is celebrating its 12th year, can be found here.

To show solidarity with children experiencing homelessness and the educators who serve them, Bullock’s H.R. 1112, adopted last month, encourages Pennsylvanians to observe Nov. 14 through Nov. 18 as "Pennsylvania Education for Youth Experiencing Homelessness Awareness Week."

Pennsylvanians are urged to wear a red shirt on Friday, Nov. 18 for "Red Shirt Day," which encourages schools and communities to support assistance programs for children experiencing homelessness and brings awareness to the issue.

In the 2014-15 school year, data show that 26,273 students in Pennsylvania schools were homeless or without adequate housing. This represents a 9 percent increase from the previous school years. Also, the number of homeless students has risen 18 percent in the last two years.