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SB-918 Homeless Youth Act of 2018.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 01/22/2018 09:00 PM
SB918:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 918


Introduced by Senator Wiener
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Rubio)

January 22, 2018


An act to amend Section 8257 of, and to add Chapter 6.1 (commencing with Section 13725) to Part 3 of Division 9 of, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to homeless youth, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 918, as introduced, Wiener. Homeless Youth Act of 2018.
Existing law establishes various programs, including, among others, the Emergency Housing and Assistance Program, homeless youth emergency service pilot projects, and Housing First and the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council, to provide assistance to homeless persons.
This bill would establish the Office of Homeless Youth in the Department of Housing and Community Development. The bill would set forth the duties of the office, including, but not limited to, setting specific, measurable goals aimed at preventing and ending homelessness among youth in the state. The bill would require the office to identify funding, policy, and practice gaps across state systems that serve, or hold the potential to serve, young people experiencing homelessness, develop specific recommendations and timelines for addressing these gaps, and report to the Legislature, as specified. The bill would require the office to oversee and administer specified grant programs for young people experiencing homelessness and their families, which would be funded by funds provided to the State Department of Health Care Services from the Youth Education, Prevention, Early Intervention, and Treatment Account. The bill would make an appropriation to the office from the General Fund in the amount of the difference between funding received from the State Department of Social Services for purposes of the grant program and $60,000,000. The bill would specify that the grant funds would be used to supplement existing levels of service and not to supplant any existing funding.
This bill would impose criteria and requirements for agencies eligible for grant funding to operate a homeless youth program or shelter program, and would require preference to be given to agencies with certain characteristics, including those that propose to provide services in geographic areas where no similar services are provided and there is a demonstrated need for those services. The bill would require a grant proposal to identify how it intends to ensure that participating youth receive services, including, but not limited to, drug abuse education and prevention services, mental and physical health care, and aftercare and follow-up services. The bill would require a grantee to submit annual progress reports to the office and agree to meet quality improvement goals, accept technical assistance, and submit to annual site monitoring visits by the office, as specified.
Existing law establishes the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to oversee the implementation of the Housing First guidelines and regulations and, among other things, identify resources, benefits, and services that can be accessed to prevent and end homelessness in California. Existing law requires the Governor to appoint up to 15 members to the council, as specified.
This bill would require the council membership to also include a representative of the Office of Homeless Youth.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: YES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the Homeless Youth Act of 2018.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8257 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

8257.
 (a) Within 180 days of the effective date of the measure adding this chapter, the Governor shall create a Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council.
(b) The council shall have the following goals:
(1) To oversee implementation of this chapter.
(2) To identify mainstream resources, benefits, and services that can be accessed to prevent and end homelessness in California.
(3) To create partnerships among state agencies and departments, local government agencies, participants in the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Continuum of Care Program, federal agencies, the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, nonprofit entities working to end homelessness, homeless services providers, and the private sector, for the purpose of arriving at specific strategies to end homelessness.
(4) To promote systems integration to increase efficiency and effectiveness while focusing on designing systems to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness, including unaccompanied youth under 25 years of age.
(5) To coordinate existing funding and applications for competitive funding. Any action taken pursuant to this paragraph shall not restructure or change any existing allocations or allocation formulas.
(6) To make policy and procedural recommendations to legislators and other governmental entities.
(7) To identify and seek funding opportunities for state entities that have programs to end homelessness, including, but not limited to, federal and philanthropic funding opportunities, and to facilitate and coordinate those state entities’ efforts to obtain that funding.
(8) To broker agreements between state agencies and departments and between state agencies and departments and local jurisdictions to align and coordinate resources, reduce administrative burdens of accessing existing resources, and foster common applications for services, operating, and capital funding.
(9) To serve as a statewide facilitator, coordinator, and policy development resource on ending homelessness in California.
(10) To report to the Governor, federal Cabinet members, and the Legislature on homelessness and work to reduce homelessness.
(11) To ensure accountability and results in meeting the strategies and goals of the council.
(12) To identify and implement strategies to fight homelessness in small communities and rural areas.
(13) To create a statewide data system or warehouse that collects local data through Homeless Management Information Systems, with the ultimate goal of matching data on homelessness to programs impacting homeless recipients of state programs, such as Medi-Cal (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 14000) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code) and CalWORKS (Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code).
(c) (1) The Governor shall appoint up to 15 members of the council as follows:
(A) A representative from the Department of Housing and Community Development.
(B) A representative of the State Department of Social Services.
(C) A representative of the California Housing Finance Agency.
(D) A representative of the State Department of Health Care Services.
(E) A representative of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
(F) A representative of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
(G) A representative from the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee in the Treasurer’s office.
(H) A representative of the Victim Services Program within the Division of Grants Management within the Office of Emergency Services.
(I) A representative of the Office of Homeless Youth.

(I)

(J) A formerly homeless person who lives in California.

(J)

(K) Two representatives of local agencies or organizations that participate in the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Continuum of Care Program.

(K)

(L) State advocates or other members of the public or state agencies, according to the Governor’s discretion.
(2) The Senate Committee on Rules and the Speaker of the Assembly shall each appoint one representative of the council from two different stakeholder organizations.
(3) The council may, at its discretion, invite stakeholders, individuals who have experienced homelessness, members of philanthropic communities, and experts to participate in meetings or provide information to the council.
(d) The council shall hold public meetings at least once every quarter.
(e) The members of the council shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
(f) Within existing funding, the council may establish working groups, task forces, or other structures from within its membership or with outside members to assist it in its work. Working groups, task forces, or other structures established by the council shall determine their own meeting schedules.
(g) The members of the council shall serve without compensation, except that members of the council who are, or have been, homeless may receive reimbursement for travel, per diem, or other expenses.
(h) The Department of Housing and Community Development shall provide staff for the council.
(i) The members of the council may enter into memoranda of understanding with other members of the council to achieve the goals set forth in this chapter, as necessary, in order to facilitate communication and cooperation between the entities the members of the council represent.

SEC. 3.

 Chapter 6.1 (commencing with Section 13725) is added to Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
CHAPTER  6.1. Homeless Youth Act of 2018

13725.
 The Legislature finds and declares as follows:
(a) Runaway and homeless youth are young people 12 to 24 years of age, inclusive, who have the least access to essential opportunities and supports.
(b) The prevalence of runaways and homelessness among youth is staggering. Studies suggest that between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth up to 24 years of age in the United States experience homelessness every year. A disproportionate number of young people experiencing homelessness are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
(c) California has the second highest rate of unsheltered young people experiencing homelessness in the nation, and the number is growing.
(d) Thirty-one percent of all young people experiencing homelessness in the United States live in California, yet two-thirds of the state’s counties lack basic services for young people experiencing homelessness, such as shelter.
(e) Young people experiencing homelessness are more likely to have experienced trauma and abuse, including commercial sexual exploitation, and to use drugs and alcohol, with consequences that are harmful, dangerous, and often tragic.
(f) 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.
(g) In furthering the goals of the Youth Education, Prevention, Early Intervention and Treatment Account, the Legislature has created the Homeless Youth Act of 2018 to improve prevention and early intervention support services, low-barrier and diverse housing opportunities, and posthosting and follow-up services for young people experiencing homelessness, including those with substance use disorders.

13726.
 The following definitions apply for purposes of this chapter:
(a) “Act” means the Homeless Youth Act of 2018.
(b) “Continuum of care” has the same meaning as defined Section 578.3 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(c) “Fund” means the Youth Education, Prevention, Early Intervention and Treatment Account created in the California Cannabis Tax Fund created pursuant to Part 14.5 (commencing with Section 34010) of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
(d) “Homeless youth” has the same meaning as defined in subsection (2) of Section 725 of the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11434a(2)).
(e) “Office” means the Office of Homeless Youth established under Section 13727.
(f) “Project” means a homeless youth housing project.
(g) “Shelter program” means a homeless youth shelter program.

13727.
 (a) The Office of Homeless Youth is established within the Department of Housing and Community Development. The office shall be headed by the Director of the Office of Homeless Youth, who shall report directly to the Director of Housing and Community Development.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the role and responsibilities of the office shall include all of the following:
(1) Setting goals to prevent and end homelessness among California’s youth.
(2) Improving the safety, health, and welfare of young people experiencing homelessness in the state.
(3) Increasing system integration and coordinating efforts to prevent homelessness among youth who are currently or formerly involved in the child welfare services or the juvenile justice system.
(4) Leading efforts to coordinate a spectrum of funding, policy, and practice efforts related to young people experiencing homelessness.
(5) Ensuring homeless minors who have experienced maltreatment and are eligible to be dependent children under Section 300 have timely access to the child welfare system.
(c) In order to coordinate a spectrum of funding, policy, and practice efforts related to young people experiencing homelessness, the office shall do all of the following:
(1) Identify funding, policy, and practice gaps across state systems that serve, or hold the potential to serve, young people experiencing homelessness, and develop specific recommendations and timelines for addressing these gaps. These recommendations and timelines shall be reported to the Legislature by December 31, 2019.
(A) Services and programs to be considered in the review and report described in this paragraph shall include, but are not limited to, family support and reunification services, social and emotional wellness and mental health services, street and community outreach programs and drop-in centers, low barrier and diverse housing opportunities, and posthousing and follow-up services.
(B) (i) A report submitted under this paragraph shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(ii) Pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, the requirement to submit a report under this paragraph shall be inoperative on January 1, 2023.
(2) Coordinate with young people experiencing homelessness, the State Department of Social Services, other appropriate state agencies and departments, the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council established pursuant to Section 8257, the state advisory group established pursuant to Section 1785, and other stakeholders to inform policy, practices, and programs.
(3) 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.
(d) The office shall set and measure progress towards goals to prevent and end homelessness among youth in California by doing all 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.
(2) Defining outcome measures and gathering data related to the goals.
(A) The office shall develop and collect data on county-level and statewide measures, including, but not limited to, the number of young people experiencing homelessness and their dependency status, delinquency status, family reunification status, housing status, program participation, and runaway status.
(B) The office shall initiate data-sharing agreements with the appropriate parties as needed to carry out data collection pursuant to this subdivision and in accordance with all applicable state and federal privacy and confidentiality laws and regulations.
(C) The office shall be granted access to statewide and local continuum of care Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data in order to meet the requirements of this section.
(3) Submitting an annual report to the Legislature on these goals, measures, and data each year by _____. A report submitted pursuant to this paragraph shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(4) Collecting and reporting data regarding the grant programs developed pursuant to this chapter by doing all of the following:
(A) The office shall collect data from grantees and utilize HMIS data to the extent possible to ensure that appropriate and high-quality services are being delivered to young people experiencing homelessness. Data collected pursuant to this paragraph shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(i) The number of young people served each year by the grantee.
(ii) The dependency status, delinquency status, housing status, family reunification status, and runaway status of the young people served each year by the grantee.
(iii) The type and number of services utilized by the young people served by the grantee each year, as outlined in subdivision (h) of Section 13728.
(iv) The types of housing assistance accessed by the young people served by the grantee each year, as outlined in subdivision (i) of Section 13728.
(v) The distribution of the length of time each young person receives services from the grantee.
(vi) Any available outcome data for the youth served by the grantee, including, but not limited to, housing stabilization, duration and number of experiences of homelessness prior to, while, and after receiving family reunification services, educational achievement, skills acquisition, and employment.
(B) The office shall provide a report to the Legislature on these data by December 31 of each year, commencing in 2019. A report submitted under this subparagraph shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(e) The office shall develop and administer grant programs to support young people experiencing homelessness and aimed at preventing and ending homelessness among California’s youth.
(1) The office shall oversee and administer the grant programs developed pursuant to this chapter, and shall do all of the following:
(A) Solicit annual progress reports from each grantee and annually review each program for effectiveness in meeting stated project outcomes and in engaging in continuous quality improvement activities.
(B) Conduct monitoring visits to each grantee at least once per year in order to provide technical assistance in areas of identified need for improvement.
(C) Collect and report on data pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (d).
(2) The office shall also develop grant programs to support families and family reunification services, social and emotional wellness and mental health services, street and community outreach programs and drop-in centers, and posthousing and follow-up services.
(A) The office shall oversee and administer these grant programs using the same requirements established in paragraph (1).
(B) The office shall collect and report on data in the same manner outlined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (d).
(f) The office shall collaborate with the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to adopt guidelines and regulations pursuant to Section 8256.

13728.
 (a) The homeless youth housing project grant program shall be administered with funding as described in this section. Grant funds provided under this chapter shall be used to supplement existing levels of service and shall not be used to supplant existing local, state, or federal funding. Grants provided under this chapter shall be awarded in a three-year grant cycle, and funded as follows:
(1) Funds provided to the office by the State Department of Health Care Services from the amount allocated to that department allocated from the Youth Education, Prevention, Early Intervention and Treatment Account, pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 34019 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
(2) If the amount provided pursuant to paragraph (1) is less than sixty million dollars ($60,000,000), funds in the amount of the difference between the amount provided and sixty million dollars ($60,000,000), which is hereby appropriated from the General Fund to the office for purposes of the grant program.
(b) An entity eligible to apply for funds under this chapter and to operate a homeless youth program or shelter program shall be either of the following:
(1) A private, nonprofit agency with a demonstrated record of success and experience in the delivery of services to young people experiencing homelessness or at-risk youth.
(2) A continuum of care administrative entity with a demonstrated record of success. The entity may use no more than 5 percent of granted funds for administrative purposes.
(c) Preference shall be given to agencies that demonstrate each of the following:
(1) Involvement of a network of youth-serving agencies in the delivery of services to young people experiencing homelessness.
(2) Participation in a local continuum of care.
(3) Utilization of the HMIS.
(4) Participation in development of a local, youth-centered coordinated entry system, including diversion.
(5) An agreement to work together with other entities to develop a local plan to reduce homelessness among homeless youth.
(d) Preference may be given to agencies that propose to provide services in geographic areas where similar services are not provided and there is a demonstrated need for those services.
(e) An applicant that intends to serve minors shall be subject to the following requirements:
(1) All minors shall be assessed for maltreatment upon application to the program, and if indicated, reported to the county child welfare agency to determine if they fall under the jurisdiction of Section 300.
(2) Applicant personnel that interact with minors and youth shall receive training no less frequently than once per year on identifying, screening, and assessing child abuse and neglect.
(3) Applicant personnel that interact with minors and youth shall receive training no less frequently than once per year on making reports to child welfare services.
(f) Receipt of housing or supportive services by a program funded under this chapter does not constitute the provision of support as specified in subdivision (g) of Section 300 and does not prevent a minor from being adjudged a dependent child of the court.
(g) Each applicant for funding under this chapter shall demonstrate that services will be provided within the Positive Youth Development framework and demonstrate that policies and procedures address cultural competence, including language appropriateness, cultural sensitivity, and the complex identities related to sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and gender expression, so that all participants are assured that programs are safe, inclusive, and nonstigmatizing by design and in operation.
(h) (1) A grant proposal shall identify how it intends to ensure that participating youth receive services. The service provider shall proactively engage homeless youth to offer a wide array of supportive services that are designed to meet the needs of each participant, including, but not limited to, those listed in paragraph (2). The service provider shall not prevent a youth from entering housing or discharge or evict a youth from a housing program on the basis of lack of participation in supportive services.
(2) Services include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(A) Drug abuse education and prevention services.
(B) Transitional living plan and services.
(C) Access to education and employment assistance.
(D) Independent living skill development, economic stability, and mobility services.
(E) Counseling and case management services.
(F) Mental and physical health care.
(G) Services for pregnant and parenting youth.
(H) Legal services.
(I) Family support, including family reunification when safe and appropriate and engagement and intervention, when appropriate.
(J) Family-finding services to identify appropriate family members.
(K) Adequate supervision and services.
(L) Outreach to young people experiencing homelessness.
(M) Aftercare and follow-up services.
(N) Housing navigation services.
(i) A recipient shall use grant funds to establish or expand programs that assess the housing and services needs of homeless youth, establish a plan to meet those needs in collaboration with the participant, and provide evidence-based housing and services models to participants. Projects that may be funded under this project include:
(1) Rental assistance.
(2) Nontime-limited supportive housing.
(3) Transitional housing.
(4) Post-transitional housing assistance.
(5) Rapid rehousing.
(6) Flexible rental subsidies.
(7) Host homes.
(8) Shelters for homeless minors, pursuant to Section 1502.35 of the Health and Safety Code.
(9) Shelters for homeless youth.
(j) (1) A shelter program established under this chapter shall provide the services described in Section 13701 and provide participants with homelessness prevention and drug abuse education, and prevention and treatment services.
(2) A shelter program shall provide outreach to homeless youth, as described in Section 576.101 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and shall provide, or refer homeless youth to, drug abuse treatment programs.
(3) A shelter program may use subcontractors to fulfill the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2).
(k) Each grantee shall submit annual progress reports to the office and agree to meet continuous quality improvement goals, accept technical assistance, and submit to annual site monitoring visits by the office.