The last several months have brought several important new investments in services for young people experiencing homelessness from our partners in the public sphere.
First, Larkin Street has endorsed the “Housing for All” ballot measure, which will provide critical funding for housing and prevention for San Franciscans experiencing or at-risk of homelessness through a 1.7% increase in the tax on commercial rents. This measure will have real results, generating $1 billion for housing, creating thousands of additional housing units, and serving over 25,000 individuals or families. Please support this important measure at the polls this summer.
On the state level, Senator Scott Wiener and Assemblywoman Blanca E. Rubio recently introduced Senate Bill 918, to create an Office of Homeless Youth, setting goals and mapping progress toward ending youth homelessness statewide. The bill further directs $60 million in new funding to address the alarming rise of youth homelessness in California. Our sincere thanks go out to Senator Wiener and Assemblywoman Rubio.
Also, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal-OES) chose Larkin Street as one of the four organizations statewide to receive $2.5 million in new funding over three years. We plan to expand hours and case management services for our drop-in centers, deepen aftercare services, add behavioral health specialists in engagement and housing programs, and increase staff training and consultation around behavioral health. Thank you to Assemblymember Phil Ting4 for championing this important new funding!
Finally, big news just came from Capitol Hill with Congress passing a bipartisan budget deal, which was signed by the President, increasing funding for key homelessness programs. $80 million was included in the bill to further expand the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project and funding for homeless assistance programs will increase by $130 million to provide resources for Continuums of Care.
Combined, these new initiatives are more evidence that the movement to end youth homelessness is growing on all levels.
Read all the latest news on the movement to end youth homelessness on our blog!