Governor Scott Signs Legislation to Help Homeless Youth

By: Tamara Lush, AP; Governor's Press Office
By: Tamara Lush, AP; Governor's Press Office

Governor Scott Signs Legislation to Help Homeless Youth

~ Bill drafted by students at Armwood High School in Tampa ~

Tampa, Fla. – June 13, 201 2--

Today, Governor Rick Scott attended the Homeless Youth Forum hosted by the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough to ceremonially sign House Bill 1351, which gives homeless youth age 16 and older the ability to request and receive their birth certificate from the state. At the forum, several formerly homeless youth discussed their efforts to avoid homelessness.

Without a birth certificate, minors who are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian cannot obtain other forms of identification, such as a Social Security card, driver's license or state identification card. Without such documentation, they face barriers that hinder their ability to recover from homelessness.

“By being empowered to access their own birth certificates, homeless youth are able to redirect the course of their lives, just like the young people we have heard from this morning,” Governor Scott said. “Their willingness to share their stories is making a difference in the lives of those who face similar challenges.”

During the 2010-2011 school year, Florida school districts identified 6,503 children who met the definition of an unaccompanied homeless youth, according to the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Sponsored by Senator Jack Latvala, and Representatives Rich Gloriso and Jim Frishe, the bill was drafted by a group of high school students at Armwood High School in Hillsborough County.

“I want to commend the students who saw the barriers faced by their fellow students who were homeless and took action to get involved in our democratic process,” said Governor Scott. “Their work is a perfect example of how our citizens have an important voice and say in shaping our laws.”


Tampa, FL (AP) - Gov. Rick Scott has signed a bill into law that will allow homeless minors the right to obtain copies of their birth certificate and other ID documents needed for employment, education and other purposes.

Scott signed the bill in Tampa on Wednesday during the Homeless Youth Forum, an event sponsored by the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County.

Prior to signing the bill, Scott and other local officials heard from six formerly homeless teens about their struggles. The young people told Scott that social service agencies such as the Coalition helped them find places to live. Most say they are continuing their education but need jobs.

According to a Department of Children and Families report released in 2011, there are about 49,000 homeless school-aged kids in Florida.

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  • by Anonymous on Jun 14, 2012 at 12:09 AM
    I think it's not even human decency to turn out an 18-yo foster child on the street and tell them "bye" "been nice known ya". Where do they think they will go? No clothes, no jobs, no money, no car. Nothing. We don't do that to dogs. Why should we do it to our kids? In fact they don't turn out prisoners on the street without money and clothes. But we do it to our kids.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 13, 2012 at 04:13 PM
    Any thought as to what the cause was that made these children homeless? I bet lots of parents of these kids would love to have their jobs back that were done away with during the massive conservative cutbacks, outsourcing and downsizing to keep profits which had provided homes for these children. Remember - not all of the parents were drug users, overspent or overborrowed but are still victims of the greatest transfer of wealth and assets to the rich in this century.
    • reply
      by please tell us.... on Jun 14, 2012 at 05:20 AM in reply to
      What is rich?
  • by nothing like a good night sleep in the bushes before going to work on that minium wage job. Location: florida on Jun 13, 2012 at 02:43 PM
    what about running a electric outlet to the bushes behind every fast food buger joint so we can have an alarm clock to get us up to go to work at 5am.
    • reply
      by Huh? on Jun 14, 2012 at 05:19 AM in reply to nothing like a good night sleep in the bushes before going to work on that minium wage job.
      You seem to be doing quite well (in the bushes)commenting on this story. Whatever is powering your device to comment here will most likely power your alarm clock as well.
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