Thanks to your tremendous outreach and support, California state funds for Homeless Youth Emergency Services and Housing Program will remain intact for 2020. The Governor’s budget also includes an 8% set-aside for youth in Homeless, Housing, Assistance and Prevention funds!
Because of the ongoing advocacy of thousands of people like you, California continues to be a leader in the fight to end youth homelessness. These direct funds provide critical and lifesaving resources to ensure that these young people have the support they need to recover from the health and economic impacts of one of the most significant pandemics in our lifetimes.
A special thank you from all of us at Larkin Street to Senator Toni Atkins, Senator Holly Mitchell, Assembly member Phil Ting, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon for their continued advocacy for young people experiencing homelessness.
While this significant win in our fight to end youth homelessness inspires us, we all still have more work to do. With your help, at Larkin Street we are continuing to advocate for:
- Equitable 20% set-aside for youth in all homeless response public funding
- Sufficient emergency shelter options through either a local youth-specific hotel open to all and/or emergency housing vouchers
- Additional rental assistance to support youth for whom progress toward taking over 100% of their rent is slowed by COVID19-related lost jobs or wages
- Necessary behavioral health funding, especially for substance abuse counselors, to address mental health impacts of pandemic and discrimination
- Employment funding to support a more robust youth workforce system (especially paid training opportunities)
- Continually employing an equity lens to assess how services are reaching youth of color and LGBTQ+ youth
The youth of Larkin Street are no different than you when you were young. When provided access to safe and stable housing, peer support and appropriate adult guidance, leadership opportunities and resources, and agency over their own lives, they can thrive. It is up to all of us together to remove the barriers, such as racism and homophobia, that are blocking their pathways to success.
Additionally, with 50% of adults experiencing homelessness in San Francisco having their first experience of homelessness before the age of 25, ending youth homelessness is not only the right thing to do, but our best strategy for ending the cycle of homelessness for all.
Stay tuned for additional calls to action around public funding needed for young people experiencing homelessness. Let’s keep this momentum going!