State Rep. Leslie Herod (D-Denver) has introduced a bill to assist one of Colorado’s most vulnerable populations, our homeless youth.

Her bill, which achieved final approval from the house Friday, with bipartisan support, would add a voluntary contribution option to all individual state income tax returns. The contributions would be donated to Urban Peak, the only nonprofit in Denver that comprehensively serves the needs of youth experiencing homelessness.

Urban Peak, which has locations in Denver and Colorado Springs, serves youth ages 15-24 who are experiencing, or at risk of,  homelessness.. It provides an overnight shelter, a daytime drop-in center, street outreach, education and employment programming, and supportive housing.

Research by Colorado Homeless Youth Action Plan suggests that 30 percent of youth experiencing homelessness will be approached within 48 hours of being on the street by human traffickers. The organization also notes that youth who identify as LGBTQ make up about 28 percent of the population they serve, and are some of the most vulnerable people in homeless populations.

“It’s important to me that my first bill supports Coloradans who are least able to support themselves—our homeless youth,” said Herod. “This bill will help raise thousands of dollars through voluntary contributions, which will allow more young Coloradans to overcome homelessness and reclaim their future.”

Her bill, HB17-1055, will create a state fund dedicated to Urban Peak. The funding will come from voluntary donations through state individual tax returns. The donation line will appear on tax returns for the next five years.

After a 49-15 third reading vote, the bill is now headed for the state senate.