SB 918 Signed into Law

Published on September 27, 2018

The mission of the California Coalition for Youth is to empower and improve the lives of California’s youth. In line with this, the California Coalition for Youth created the Youth Advisory Board (YAB) as an opportunity for youth (ages 12-24) to get involved in their local and state communities. With this in mind, this space is meant to provide the YAB as well as other youth or youth supporters a chance to share their opinions on current events, creative content or anything similar and relevant.

We invite everyone including readers to submit content and ideas for this space on a continuous basis.

Governor Brown Takes Historic Step To Begin Addressing the Needs of Youth and Young Adults Experiencing Homelessness

 

Today, Governor Brown signed the Homeless Youth Act of 2018 – SB 918 (Wiener), which is one of the California Coalition for Youth’s sponsored bills.  This bill takes a significant first step for California to do the state-level system work and coordination necessary to prevent and end youth and young adults experiencing homelessness.

SB 918 directs the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council (Council) to set specific measurable goals and map progress towards ending youth homelessness. The Council will also work to:

  • Decrease the duration and frequency of youth who experience homelessness
  • Develop and collect data on county-level and statewide numbers on youth homelessness
  • Coordinate efforts to prevent homelessness among youth who were involved in the child welfare or juvenile justice systems
  • Coordinate with young people experiencing homelessness, appropriate state entities and other stakeholders to inform policy, practices, and programs

This bill recognizes that all young people, and in particular LGBTQ youth and youth of color, who are over-represented among youth experiencing homelessness, are recognized and that the state will work to address systematic barriers and lack of coordination in meeting their needs.  For too long, there has been no clear state agency or department responsible for addressing the needs of this vulnerable population.

The California Coalition for Youth worked with a broad group of stakeholders on SB 918, and was joined by Tipping Point Community, Equality California, John Burton Advocates for Youth, the Corporation for Supportive Housing, and Housing California as co-sponsors of the measure.

Sherilyn Adams, Executive Director of Larkin Street Youth Services and Board Chair of the California Coalition for Youth said it best, “On behalf of CCY and our members, I want to thank Senator Wiener and Assemblywoman Rubio for their vision, leadership and relentless efforts on the bill, which came out of their joint hearing last fall on the issue. By signing SB 918, the Governor sets a path for our State to reduce youth homelessness.  SB 918 is bold action toward insuring that no young person lays their head on our street, and that every young person in our State has the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

Additionally, SB 918 builds upon recent actions taken in the 2018-19 State Budget of which CCY was instrumental.  Budget actions included moving the Council from the Department of Housing and Community Development to the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency – placing it closer to the Governor – and expanding the Council’s membership to include a seat for a formerly homeless youth.  The Budget also includes $500 million for the Homeless Emergency Aid Program, which includes a minimum 5% of these funds to be set aside to serve homeless youth or youth at risk of homelessness.

In addition to Senator Wiener and Assemblymember Rubio’s authorship, SB 918 is co-authored by Senators Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), Jim Beall (D-San Jose), Steven Glazer (D-Orinda), Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), Connie Leyva (D-Chino), Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada), Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita), and Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova), Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), Brian Maienschein (R-San Diego), Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley), Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-Grand Terrace), Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona), Marc Steinorth (R-Rancho Cucamonga), Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley), and Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond).

 

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