State News

November 2016

California Coalition For Youth’s 2016 Legislative Successes

jpeg

2016 was a banner year for the California Coalition for Youth (CCY), our members and for disconnected, runaway and homeless youth across our state.  For the first time in 28 years, there was a one-time increase in funding for direct services for homeless youth in our state budget!   CCY also supported and worked on the largest number of bills ever, of which 19 were passed by the State Legislature, and all but two of those were signed into law by Governor Brown.  Homeless youth is a bi-partisan issue that has received support from Democrats and Republicans. Both caucuses supported addressing homelessness while the Assembly Republicans successfully advocated for additional funds to address more fully the needs of homeless youth and veterans by securing an additional $20 million to address the needs of shelters for youth and transitional housing, shelter and treatment centers for veterans.

Our most important victory was the designation of $10 million in new funding for homeless youth through the Homeless Youth Exploitation Program (HYEP), prioritized by the Assembly Republicans.  As reported earlier this year, the funding will be split out over five years, with $2 million per year going to four new counties for services focused on the immediate and emergency needs of homeless youth, which includes outreach, drop-in centers and runaway and homeless youth shelters. The four new counties are Orange, San Bernardino, Fresno and El Dorado.  This is a huge infusion of funds for a program that currently only receives $1.1 million annually to serve the four existing counties of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Clara.  We know that the services-to-needs gap for homeless youth in California is vast and growing as the number of unsheltered youth is increasing year-after-year, and this is a first step to increasing supports and services for all of California’s homeless youth.

All four of our high priority bills were passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Brown.  This includes AB 801 (Bloom), which CCY co-sponsored along with Housing CA and NAEHCY.   This bill addresses a variety of issues impacting homeless youth in community colleges and universities across out state, such as prioritizing class registration and improving supportive services.  Another high priority bill, SB 1380 (Mitchell), establishes the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to oversee the implementation of the Housing First guidelines and regulations, and among other things, to identify resources, benefits, and services that can be accessed to prevent and end homelessness in California.  We were able to get language included in this bill that recognizes the time limited approach for housing for homeless youth to recognize their specific needs.  SCR 160 (McGuire) recognizes November 2016 as Runaway and Homeless Youth Month in California.  The fourth bill, AB 1997 (Stone), continued the reforms of the foster care system through the Continuum of Care Reform process started by AB 403 in the previous year.  CCY has been very involved in the process on behalf of our members who also provide services in foster care.

CCY also had a number of priority bills passed and be signed into law, including AB 1567 (Campos), AB 1995 (Williams), and SB 1068 (Leyva), all of which addressed issues affecting homeless youth in our state.  There were 10 other bills CCY supported that were also signed into law that addressed issues in the areas of foster youth, trafficked youth and juvenile justice.

Another important win for CCY this year was the passage of the No Place Like Home (NPLH) Program proposal – which will take $2 billion from the Proposition 63 Mental Health Services Act and securitize those revenues to build or refurbish permanent supportive housing for persons who are in need of mental health services and are homeless, chronically homeless or at risk of chronic homelessness.  In the original draft of the proposal, the definition used for “at risk of chronic homelessness” only focused on emancipated foster youth and would have created barriers to entry due to the narrow definition for chronic homelessness.  The California Coalition for Youth was able to successfully advocate for a more expansive definition of “at risk of chronic homelessness” to include “transition age youth experiencing homelessness or with significant barriers to housing stability.”  This is consistent with the original intent of Prop. 63 to serve transition age youth between the ages of 16-25 and will ensure that homeless youth in need of mental health services can access permanent supportive housing as needed.

Another part of the original NPLH program language specified the use of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development 2015 “Point in Time” homeless count numbers as the basis for access to some of the funding.  The final language instead requires the California Department of Housing and Community Development to develop a homeless count and to consider “other factors.” CCY supports this approach and has offered its assistance as we believe we can develop more recent and accurate data, especially with regards to homeless youth.

CCY and our Board of Directors would like to thank all of our members for their support during this past legislative season.  Many of you attended our Advocacy Day in April, wrote letters of support and reached out to your local legislators to encourage them to support the bills and budget requests that we had been working on.  Your support was key to our successes this year.  Thank you!!!

October 2016

2016 Legislative Scorecard

(click to enlarge)

ccy-2016-scorecard-10-4-2016  

June 2016

First New Funding For Homeless Youth in California in Over 28 Years!

California Coalition for Youth is pleased to announce several advances in our efforts to address the needs of homeless youth in California. The Governor signed the state budget on Monday June 27th without vetoing any of its provisions. One of the last issues to be resolved was the No Place Like Home (NPLH) Program proposal – which will take $2 billion from the Proposition 63 Mental Health Services Act and securitize those revenues to build or refurbish permanent supportive housing for persons who are in need of mental health services and are homeless, chronically homeless or at risk of chronic homelessness. In a surprising win, the budget contains $10 million for homeless youth.

In the original draft of the proposal, the definition used for “at risk of chronic homelessness” only focused on emancipated foster youth and would have created barriers to entry due to the narrow definition for chronic homelessness. The California Coalition for Youth was able to successfully advocate for a more expansive definition of “at risk of chronic homelessness” to include “transition age youth experiencing homelessness or with significant barriers to housing stability.” This is consistent with the original intent of Prop. 63 to serve transition age youth between the ages of 16-25 and will ensure that homeless youth in need of mental health services can access permanent supportive housing as needed.

Another part of the original NPLH program language specified the use of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development 2015 “Point in Time” homeless count numbers as the basis for access to some of the funding. The final language instead requires the California Department of Housing and Community Development to develop a homeless count and to consider “other factors.” CCY supports this approach and has offered its assistance as we believe we can develop more recent and accurate data, especially with regards to homeless youth.

Since the NPLH Program sought to use funds from a voter approved initiative, this proposal needed a 2/3rds votes of both houses – in the Assembly and Senate. Homeless youth is a bi-partisan issue that has received support from Democrats and Republicans. Both caucuses supported addressing homelessness while the Assembly Republicans successfully advocated for additional funds to address more fully the needs of homeless youth and veterans by securing an additional $20 million to address the needs of shelters for youth and transitional housing, shelter and treatment centers for veterans.

Out of these funds, the Assembly Republicans prioritized $10 million, over 5 years, to bolster the Homeless Youth and Exploitation Program. These funds will be targeted towards expanding programs into four new counties. The new counties targeted with these funds are: El Dorado, Fresno, San Bernardino, and Orange County. This is a huge infusion of funds for a program that currently only receives $1.1 million annually to serve the four existing counties of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Clara. We know that the services-to-needs gap for homeless youth in California is vast and growing as the number of unsheltered youth is increasing year-after-year, and this is a first step to increasing supports and services for all of California’s homeless youth.

The prioritization of homeless youth by the Assembly Republicans, especially through the leadership of Asm. Young Kim, led to the possibility for expansion in her district as well for expanded services throughout the four counties. CCY will continue to advocate in the year ahead for more funding to support the Homeless Youth and Exploitation Program as well as helping to ensure that homeless youth are well served under the No Place Like Home Program. Addressing homelessness, especially youth homelessness, is an issue impacting all of California, and more must be done not only in these counties, but in other areas of California as well.

For more information regarding the budget request, the California Coalition for Youth please contact Executive Director, Paul Curtis, at paul@calyouth.org or (916) 514-4464 x101


May, 2016

May Revision to the 2016-2017 California State Budget

This week, Governor Jerry Brown released his May Revision to the 2016-2017 State Budget. Our legislative advocate, Kim Lewis from HR Dowden, sent us the following memo that goes into further detail as to how the Governor is allocating funding and what the fiscal forecast of California is looking like. Below is an excerpt from the memo shared with us, click here to read the entire document about the May Revision.

Excerpt from document:

Today, Governor Jerry Brown released his May Revision to the 2016-2017 Budget. The budget is in relatively good shape for the next two years. The Governor is emphasizing the downward performance of April tax receipts; however, when looking at the numbers, April’s total revenues of $16.78 billion fell short of the January estimate by 6.6 percent. Year to date revenues are only off estimates by $550 million. While the May Revision forecast is lower than projected in January, it is still higher than predicted last year when the current year budget was passed. What the May Revise does is set the stage for the November 2016 elections and the proposed ballot initiative that would extend Prop. 30 revenues. The Governor made it clear that he would let the voters decide on this, and stated that “no significant new ongoing spending commitments should be made” until after November. He did decline to comment on how he would vote on any of the propositions before voters this year… click here to read the entire document about the May Revision.


Federal News

July, 2016

U.S. Department of Education Releases McKinney-Vento Homeless Guidance

2000px-US-DeptOfEducation-Seal.svgThe U.S. Department of Education released a new and unique package of materials on the education of homeless youth and children:

– Non-Regulatory Guidance, which will help school districts and States implement amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act made by the Every Student Succeeds Act

– Notice of Rights and Protections for homeless children and youth under the McKinney-Vento Act to all Federal agencies and their local grant recipients that serve homeless youth and children.

– Fact Sheets for school staff, teachers, and principals regarding youth and child homelessness and its impact.

– A Press Release about identifying and serving homeless children and youth and the importance of identifying them.

The amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act will g into effect on October first of this year.

For more information about the homeless related amendments in the Every Student Succeeds Act, check out the awesome resource by NAEHCY’s ESSA page at http://naehcy.org/educational-resources/essa

April, 2016

National Network For Youth: Proposed System to End Youth and Young Adult Homelessness

After a draft of this system was introduced at the NN4Y 2016 Summit, National Network for Youth (NN4Y) has officially released their Proposed System to End Youth and Young Adult Homelessness.

The Proposed System is a “one-of-a-kind resource designed to support and accompany our marquee policy paper, What Works to end Youth Homelessness: What We Know Now,” and is a collaborative effort between NN4Y and many experts, advocates, and youth that contributed to the publications cited.

The Following is an excerpt adapted from Page 1 of the Proposed System:

“Youth and young adults (YYA) are defined by a complex and critical stage of personal growth. Unfortunately, YYA experiencing homelessness lack safety, stability and other basic life needs. Moreover, many of these individuals are unable to access systems, services and resources designed to support healthy development.
For these reasons, YYA experiencing homelessness require a combination of developmentally-appropriate housing and service options. At the systematic level, this approach depends on close collaboration between government agencies, philanthropists and community-based organizations.

To address both the causes and consequences of a national epidemic, our proposed system includes a full range of developmentally-appropriate service and housing options for youth and their families. It empowers YYA to lead fuller, healthier lives. Within this system, youth experiencing homelessness will spend less time worrying about basic needs and more time pursuing education and healthy interpersonal relationships. Collectively, our recommendations provide multiple opportunities for youth to undergo safe and healthy transitions to adulthood.”

Read more about it here


April, 2016

Council Discusses State-Level Efforts to End Chronic Homelessness, Progress on End to Youth Homelessness

Earlier this month, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness convened for the first Council meeting of 2016. Their key priorities this year are:

“Securing the resources being sought within the President’s FY 2017 Budget to achieve the goals of Opening Doors”

“Increasing state-level coordination of Medicaid, behavioral health, and housing resources and systems to help take supportive housing to scale needed to end chronic homelessness and address other state-level priorities”

“Continuing to strengthen the coordination across federal programs that serve youth experiencing homelessness and developing a shared understanding of what it means to end youth homelessness”

Driving Efforts to End Youth Homelessness:

“USICH incoming Dep. Director Jasmine Hayes, and the Interagency Working Group to End Youth Homelessness, then provided an update to Council on the collaborative efforts underway to develop a shared federal understanding of what it means to end youth homelessness.”

In July 2015 the Council adopted the Working Group’s vision of the core components of a coordinated community response to prevent and end youth homelessness, they are still working to develop common measures of success, joint messaging, tools and preliminary performance measures to help drive progress toward ending youth homelessness in communities and nationally.

Read the full extent of the article and what other plans The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness has, click here.