Since 2015, the number of homeless youth living in California has risen 32% to a staggering 15,000 young people. These youth are five times more likely to experience homelessness as adults, and are concentrated in vulnerable communities:
•1 in 10 Cal State students experienced homelessness in the last year alone.
•Latino/a youth are 33% more likely than their white peers to experience homelessness.
•Black youth are 83% more likely to experience homelessness than white youth.
•4 in 10 homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, and are often fleeing discrimination or abuse at home.
In January 2018, Senator Scott Wiener and Assemblymember Blanca Rubio introduced SB 918, a bill to create an Office of Homeless Youth and dedicate $60 million in funding to build up youth services in every county in California. Tipping Point is sponsoring this legislation, in partnership with a coalition of organizations and youth advocates across the state, as part of our broader efforts to prevent homelessness and partner with the public sector to keep people safe and housed.
You can read statements from our co-sponsors and our CEO, Daniel, below. Help support our efforts by getting in touch with your CA legislator and voicing your support for SB 918. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates!
Daniel Lurie, CEO and Founder, Tipping Point Community: “The rise of youth homelessness in California — especially amongst those who have been in the foster care system — is simply unacceptable. We must address this crisis with a sense of urgency, focus, and commitment. This legislation is a critical step towards identifying early interventions so our community’s most vulnerable young people can access the resources and protections they need to break the cycle of poverty.”
Sherilyn Adams, Executive Director, Larkin Street Youth Services and Board Chair, California Coalition for Youth: “We are beyond excited that Senator Wiener and Assemblymember Rubio are championing the needs of young people. The Office of Homeless Youth will ensure that all young people, and in particular LGBTQ youth and youth of color, who are over-represented among youth experiencing homelessness, will no longer have to sleep on the streets, and will have every opportunity to reach their full potential.”
Rick Zbur, Executive Director, Equality California: “We are grateful for the commitment Senator Wiener and Assemblymember Rubio have shown to addressing the crisis of youth homelessness in our state, particularly the 4 out of 10 homeless young people who are LGBTQ in multiple major California cities. This measure will help approve the lives and provide opportunities for these young people through the funding it provides to meet their needs and help them find safe and secure homes.”
Amy Lemley, Executive Director, John Burton Advocates for Youth: “Homelessness among youth has reached a crisis point in California. We must remember that these are children, like our own, who deserve our protection and support. This important legislation has the promise of providing that, by establishing effective programs that can move young people out of homeless and into stability. Thank you Senator Wiener for your leadership in authoring this SB 918.”
Lisa Hershey, Executive Director, Housing California: “Housing California commends Senator Wiener for bringing legislative attention to the housing needs of the more than 15,000 youth experiencing homelessness in California. Without a safe, stable place to live, it is impossible for young people to focus on their health, education or future. It is California’s responsibility, at the very least, to provide the ladder of opportunity to all youth. An Office of Homeless Youth to coordinate resources and administer grants specifically to address youth experiencing homelessness is a bold step in the right direction to addressing this growing issue.”
Sharon Rapport, Associate Director, California Policy at Corporation for Supportive Housing: “In the state with the largest population of homeless youth in the nation, we applaud Senator Wiener’s commitment to addressing the needs of homeless young adults and homeless unaccompanied minors. This bill will not only coordinate and leverage existing resources to reduce homelessness among youth, it will provide much-needed funding for this vulnerable population to access a safe, decent place to call home. We look forward to working with Senator Wiener to pass this incredibly important bill.”