New Legislation to Benefit Homeless Youth

Categories: News

Governor Gavin Newsom signed a package of bills into law in September to help address youth homelessness. San Diego Youth Services was instrumental in the passage of the bills, together with the California Coalition for Youth (CCY).

“I applaud the Governor and the State of California for prioritizing youth homelessness and providing resources to address this critical problem in our community, “said Walter Philips, San Diego Youth Services CEO and a CCY Board Member.

“As we approach our 50-year anniversary, San Diego Youth Services continues to be committed to working with all of our local, state and national partners to end youth homelessness.”

Two of the bills expand the membership of the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to include representatives from the California Department of Education and California’s higher education system—an important move with more than 14,000 unaccompanied youth and at least 260,000 students experiencing homelessness across the state.

Another bill helps shelters for minors better serve these youth who are homeless or at risk of being homeless by expanding the number of nights they can stay from 21 to 90 consecutive days. This includes our Youth Emergency Shelter here in San Diego, where more than 1,500 youth are experiencing homelessness.

The Youth Emergency Shelter is the only night shelter in the county for homeless and runaway minors on their own. The shelter serves youth ages 12 to 17 who have no safe living arrangement or are victims of physical or sexual abuse, neglect, child abuse or exploitation.

We also provide critical transitional housing, safe and nurturing home environments for transition age youth ages 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.