***Letters of Support Templates***
Send a letter of support to the respective Committee Chair. Please email or fax no later than April 5th. Here are templates to get you started and make the writing easy – SB 119 and SB 123.
Policy and Advocacy Update
What’s Happening in Sacramento
Here are two current pieces of legislation that Larkin Street is supporting which directly impact homeless youth in California.
Emergency Youth Shelter Facilities (SB 119)
Author: Senator Alan Lowenthal
Co-author: Senator Carol Liu
The California Department of Social Services is responsible for the oversight of residential programs serving youth under the age of 18 who are placed outside of their home, however, currently there are no regulations specifically designed for youth shelters. This bill would expand the definition of a community care facility to include emergency youth shelters. The current licensing regulations were created to meet the needs of youth residing in group home settings, programs that exist to create long term solutions for youth within the child welfare system, and therefore do not work for shelter environments. Larkin Street recognizes the need for oversight to ensure standards of care are in place for the safety and well being of this vulnerable population. Other states have successfully created licensing requirements for homeless youth providers and these statutes should be used as a model rather than trying to revise regulations that were created for youth in the child welfare system.
Human Services Committee Chair: Senator Carol Liu
Email: Senator.Liu@senate.ca.gov Fax: (916) 324-7543
California Runaway, Homeless, and Exploited Youth Act (SB 123)
Author: Senator Carol Liu
Co-author: Senator Alan Lowenthal
Co-author: Assemblymember Jim Beall
There is no coordinated statewide plan to reduce homelessness among the vulnerable youth population. Not addressing the problem now will lead to increased costs later as a result of increased incarceration, use of emergency medical care, and use of public assistance as adults. This legislation asserts that California must define homeless youth as a priority population in need of state resources. The range of services needed to address youth homelessness include education, health care, housing, behavioral health, counseling and family reunification. Collaboration across public and private entities is necessary to effectively provide services and reduce the extent of the problem. The Act will lay the foundation for a comprehensive statewide plan to address youth homelessness by defining the population, determining the service needs, identifying means to assess public investment in services for this population, and proposing a consistent revenue stream to meet the demand for housing and support services.
Public Safety Committee Chair: Senator Loni Hancock
Email: Senator.Hancock@senate.ca.gov Fax: (916) 327-1997
Want to get involved?
For additional information:
- Read about the news conference on homeless youth held January 2011 in Sacramento
Download this policy brief from the California Coalition for Youth – California Emergency Youth Shelters: Ensuring Services to Better Protect and Serve Homeless Youth