FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 3rd, 2016
CONTACT: Bryan Shroyer, (916) 319-2065
Assemblywoman Young Kim Introduces Legislation to Help Homeless Youth
Bill would increase funding for programs serving homeless youth to $25 million
SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Fullerton) today announced that she has introduced legislation to provide a comprehensive services plan and funding to help address California’s growing homeless youth crisis.
“The number of homeless youth in California is staggering. In my district alone, there are nearly 8,600 homeless public school children,” said Kim. “Current services for homeless youth aren’t getting the job done in providing them with the basic necessities like food, shelter, job training, and basic life skills. By providing them with our love and support while young, we can put our homeless youth on the road to successful careers and bright futures.”
In 2014, the California Homeless Youth Project estimated that over 298,000 youth in grades K-12 at some point during the school year experienced homelessness. Between 12,000 to 13,000 unaccompanied homeless youth ages 12-24 are homeless at any given time in California. In spite of this large homeless youth population, only $1.3 million are available in state dollars to fund the Homeless Youth and Exploitation Program and the California Youth Crisis Line. These funds support only four providers in California, and serve just 5,000 youth annually.
Assembly Bill 1699 would specifically provide $25 million for homeless youth emergency service projects. It would also establish one emergency service project in Orange County, as well as other underserved counties. The different projects would provide transitional living for a period of up to 36 months, create access to education and employment assistance, and teach independent living skills development, family engagement, and interventions.
Paul Curtis, Executive Director for the California Coalition for Youth, thanked Kim for calling attention to the state’s homeless youth crisis. “We would like to thank Assemblywoman Young Kim for recognizing the extent of the homeless youth population in our state and the need for additional programs and services to help get them off the street,” said Curtis. “California has approximately 30% of the homeless youth in the country; yet, two-thirds of California’s counties lack even basic services such as shelters. AB 1699 is a step in the right direction to help prevent and end youth homelessness in our state.”
Assemblywoman Young Kim represents the 65th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, La Palma, and Stanton.