California Homeless Youth Act of 2018: Update

The California Homeless Youth Act of 2018 was recently passes by both houses of the Legislature and presented to the Governor last week for approval. A homeless youth

Funding Opportunities

Text in the bill noted that

“With the adoption by the voters of Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, there is an opportunity for new funding to support various programs and services for young people experiencing homelessness, including those with substance use disorders.”

In preparation for funding opportunities, the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council “shall

set and measure progress towards goals to prevent and end homelessness among youth in California by doing both of the following:
(1) Setting specific, measurable goals aimed at preventing and ending homelessness among youth in the state. These goals shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(A) Measurably decreasing the number of young people experiencing homelessness in the state.
(B) Measurably increasing permanency rates among young people experiencing homelessness by decreasing the length and occurrences of young people experiencing homelessness caused by a youth’s separation from family or a legal guardian.
(C) Decreasing the duration and frequency of experiences of homelessness among California’s youth.
(D) Decreasing barriers to services through promoting cross-systems partnerships to expedite access to services, including social services, child welfare services, regional center services, and mental health services.
(2) Defining outcome measures and gathering data related to the goals.
(A) The council shall develop and collect data on county-level and statewide measures, including, but not limited to, the number of young people experiencing homelessness in California and their dependency status, delinquency status, family reunification status, housing status, program participation, and runaway status.
(B) Data collection and sharing among state and county agencies and service providers shall be a condition upon the receipt of any state funding for programs related to youth homelessness and its prevention. All recipients shall be required to share with the council any relevant data from their Homeless Management Information Systems. Data collection and sharing pursuant to this chapter shall be conducted and maintained in accordance with all applicable state and federal privacy and confidentiality laws and regulations.
(C) The council shall seek data from any and all relevant sources, including the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), if available, in order to meet the requirements of this section.
(D) Providers of data shall do either of the following:
(i) Redact the names, dates of birth, and addresses of victims of domestic violence, as defined in Section 6211 of the Family Code, prior to reporting data to the council.
(ii) Obtain informed consent from a victim of domestic violence, as defined in Section 6211 of the Family Code and in accordance with all applicable state and federal confidentiality laws, before disclosing confidential information about that individual pursuant to this section.
(b) In order to coordinate a spectrum of funding, policy, and practice efforts related to young people experiencing homelessness, the council shall do both of the following:
(1) Coordinate with young people experiencing homelessness, the State Department of Social Services, other appropriate state and county agencies and departments, the state advisory group established pursuant to Section 1785, and other stakeholders to inform policy, practices, and programs.
(2) To the extent that funding is made available, provide technical assistance and program development support to increase capacity among new and existing service providers to best meet statewide needs, particularly in areas where services for young people experiencing homelessness have not been established, and provide support to service providers in making evidence-informed and data-driven decisions.”

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