Calexico Chronicle: County Supports Bill Aimed At Preventing Youth Homelessness

Thursday, April 27, 2017

As excerpted from the Calexico Chronicle:

The Imperial County Board of Supervisors endorsed a bill that will help prevent youth homelessness in California.

The Board of Supervisors met at their regular Tuesday meeting where they discussed AB 1406 co-authored by Assemblyman Todd Gloria aimed to establish a Homeless Youth Housing Program.

California has the largest population of youth ages 16 to 24 that are experiencing homelessness in the state but there has been a 7% increase in the number of homeless youth in California since 2015. In Imperial County, there are more than 300 homeless youth.

“Without ensuring the homeless response efforts are sufficiently funded, coordinated, and targeted to meet the needs of this growing population, these Californians will become the next wave of adults experiencing chronic homelessness.” said Rebecca Terrazas-Baxter, Imperial County Public Information Officer.

Board Chairman Mike Kelley inquired what identified a homeless youth since some could be associated with an unfit home that needs further investigation. Terrazas-Baxter said a homeless youth is 16 and 24 individuals that may have a couch to sleep but are not self sustained and cannot provide housing for them or have the income to do so.

Assembly Bill 1406, introduced by Assembly member Todd Gloria, established the Homeless Youth Housing Program and provides an avenue for the Legislature to appropriate funds that will granted to organizations that are part of a continuum of care that will create new or expanded existing programs that provide specific assistance and supportive services to homeless youth with the goal of transitioning them to self-sufficiency.

AB 1406, jointly-authored with Assembly member David Chiu (D-San Francisco), establishes the Homeless Youth Advocacy and Housing Program. This program will award $15 million in grants to local continuums of care to provide housing assistance and supportive services for homeless youth. To date, California has only minimally invested in homeless youth services with no long-term funding commitments. AB1406 creates an on-going state commitment to reduce youth homelessness.