Miley Cyrus is continuing to use her star power to advocate on behalf of young people in need.
The 22-year-old singer wrote a letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie earlier this month urging that they increase funding to help homeless kids, New York Daily News reported. Cyrus posted the letter to her Instagram account on Wednesday, saying she was “speaking up” for those without a roof over their head.
In the letter, Cyrus endorses a proposal by New York state Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan), political advocacy group Empire State Pride Agenda and nonprofit Coalition for Homeless Youth that would ensure $4.75 million for homeless children in New York’s state budget. Hoylman voiced his thanks for Cyrus’ support on Twitter.
“These young people are homeless through no fault of their own,” Cyrus wrote to the state officials. “They’ve been kicked out of their homes or are fleeing abusive parents. And too often they’re forced into dangerous situations just to find a place to sleep.”
Cyrus points out that although youth homelessness is a problem throughout the U.S., it’s “especially serious in New York.” According to Empire State Pride Agenda, data from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services shows that kids were turned away from homeless shelters because there were no beds more than 5,000 times in 2012 — a fact the pop star highlights in her letter to Cuomo.
The organization also points out that funding for homeless youth shelters across the state has decreased by about two-thirds since 2009.
Cyrus — who launched her own nonprofit, The Happy Hippie Foundation, to advocate for homeless youths last year, according to MTV — has championed the issue in recent months. At last year’s MTV Video Music Awards, she took a young man who’d been homeless, Jesse Helt, as her guest. When Cyrus won a Moonman for Video of the Year, Helt accepted the award on her behalf and dedicated his speech to raising awareness on the issue.
The duo created a fundraising campaign for My Friend’s Place, a Los Angeles organization that helps homeless young people, and garnered about $200,000 in roughly one day.