Monday, January 24, 2011
Less than a third of California’s counties are prepared to deal with the unique needs of homeless teens and young adults. A new study by the California Homeless Youth Project finds that only 19 counties have such accommodations.
Democratic lawmakers are pushing bills to confront the issue. One would allow more shelters to be eligible for federal funds that support homeless youth ages 12 to 24.
Senator Alan Lowenthal, author of the bill, said given the budget crisis, he’s not calling for state funding.
“You have to crawl before you walk. Right now, the state is doing nothing. We need to begin this process and this is the first step to beginning to have real services for homeless youth.”
Another piece of legislation aims to raise awareness about youth homelessness. The Homeless Youth Project estimates there are 200,000 homeless young people in California under the age of 18.