Vermont Witnesses To Be Joined By Oscar-Nominated Actor At Hearing Before Leahy Panel

Djimon Hounsou To Discuss Runaway And Homeless Youths

WASHINGTON (Thursday, April 25, 2008) – Two-time Academy Award nominee Djimon Hounsou will join representatives from Vermont in testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing to identify and explore solutions to address rising numbers of runaway and homeless youths, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced today.

Leahy invited Hounsou to offer testimony before the Senate panel and to share his firsthand experience with youth homelessness.  He will bring his personal insight about how the issue affects the nation’s youth.

The Academy Award nominee will be joined by expert witnesses from Spectrum Youth and Family Services, a Vermont-based non-profit agency founded in 1970 to assist Vermont youth and families.  A representative from Covenant House Pennsylvania, an outreach center that works with street youth, will also testify at the hearing.  The Committee will also hear from Victoria Wagner, the chief executive officer for the National Network for Youth, a national advocacy organization for runaway and homeless youth based in Washington, D.C.

The April 29 hearing, “Living on the Street: Finding Solutions to Protect Runaway and Homeless Youth,” will launch Leahy’s efforts to reauthorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act.  Leahy is expected to introduce reauthorization language in the coming weeks.

The hearing will be held Tuesday, April 29, at 10 a.m. in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, in Washington.  Non-credentialed members of the press should contact the Senate Press Galleries for information on how to attend the hearing.


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The Senate Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a hearing on “Living on the Street: Finding Solutions to Protect Runaway and Homeless Youth” for Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 226 of the Senate Dirksen Office Building.


By order of the Chairman


Witness List 

Djimon Hounsou

Actor and Advocate

Los Angeles, California

Mark Redmond

Executive Director

Spectrum Youth and Family Services

Burlington, Vermont


Michael Hutchins

Residential Manager

Spectrum Youth and Family Services

Burlington, Vermont


Victoria A. Wagner

Chief Executive Officer

National Network for Youth

Washington, DC


Jerome Kilbane
Executive Director
Covenant House
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


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