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AB-3085 New Beginnings California Program.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 05/01/2018 09:00 PM
AB3085:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 01, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 19, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 3085


Introduced by Assembly Member Calderon

February 16, 2018


An act to add Chapter 7.5 (commencing with Section 8270) to Division 8 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to homelessness, public social services, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 3085, as amended, Calderon. Homelessness: New Beginnings California Program.
Under existing law, several state agencies have prescribed responsibilities relating to homeless persons. Existing law requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to administer the California Emergency Solutions Grants Program and make grants under the program to qualifying recipients to implement activities that address the needs of homeless individuals and families and assist them to regain stability in permanent housing as quickly as possible.
This bill would establish the New Beginnings California Program in the Department of Community Services and Development and create the New Beginnings California Account for the purpose of providing grant funding to cities and local continuum of care programs to implement, expand, or continue employment programs for formerly homeless individuals, as specified. The bill would define city for purposes of the bill to include a city, county, or a city and county. The bill would require qualifying employment programs to, among other things, connect program participants with employment and pay them an hourly wage that is at or above minimum wage. The bill would appropriate an unspecified sum from the General Fund to the New Beginnings California Account and direct the department to apportion those funds to cities and local continuum of care programs with eligible employment programs, not to exceed an unspecified sum. The bill would make funds in the account available without regard to fiscal years until the end of the 2023–24 fiscal year. The bill would require cities and local continuum of care programs to match any funds received from the program, as specified. The bill would require the department to submit a report on the program to the Legislature by no later than January 1, 2022, as specified.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: YES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) California’s homeless crisis has reached emergency proportions. According to the latest federal Department of Housing and Urban Development report, California has experienced year-to-year increases in the homeless population by 13 percent in 2016 and nearly 14 percent in 2017. As of 2017, the overall statewide count has surged to 134,278 persons.
(b) In the last two years, dozens of city and county governments in California have declared homelessness an emergency. Despite increased efforts and resources to reduce homelessness in California, homelessness has remained a significant issue. Further, it has often been difficult for service providers to connect with homeless individuals and identify the services they need.
(c) Cities and counties throughout the state have started pursuing additional strategies to aid those in need, with several implementing programs that provide homeless individuals with work while providing easy access to services. These programs are loosely based on the There’s a Better Way program in the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico, launched in 2015, that connects homeless individuals with work and has been widely lauded as a success. The City of Denver, Colorado Colorado, launched one such program in 2016 called the Denver Day Works program program, and the reported numbers are very promising. In the program’s first year, nearly 284 people were matched with work opportunities and 110 of these participants have found permanent employment, either with the city or county, or with private business hiring partners.
(d) Given the promising results in other cities, the state should provide incentives to cities and counties in California to pursue holistic approaches to aiding those experiencing homelessness by creating programs that offer these individuals with employment while matching them with other necessary services.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 7.5 (commencing with Section 8270) is added to Division 8 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
CHAPTER  7.5. New Beginnings California Program

8270.
 (a) The New Beginnings California Program is hereby established in the Department of Community Services and Development for the purpose of providing matching funds of up to ____ dollars ($____) to cities or local continuum of care programs to implement, expand, or continue employment programs for formerly homeless individuals.
(b) A city or local continuum of care program shall be eligible to receive grant funding pursuant to this section if its homeless employment program meets all of the following requirements:
(1) Connects homeless individuals living in supportive housing with work opportunities. Employment offered through the program may be with the city, a contracted service provider, or a private entity that chooses to participate in the employment program.
(2) Program participants are paid an hourly wage that is at or above minimum wage.

(3)Connects program participants with shelter and other local services.

(4)

(3) Assists individuals who are not yet ready for employment with services and resources that will enable them to be prepared to work as soon as is feasible.
(c) A city or local continuum of care program that contracts with a service provider to implement a homeless an employment program shall be eligible for a grant pursuant to this section if the program meets the requirements specified in subdivision (b).
(d) For purposes of this section, “city” also means a city, county, or a city and county.
(e) For purposes of this section, “supportive housing” has the same meaning as set forth in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of 50675.14 of the Health and Safety Code.

(e)

(f) Grant funding awarded pursuant to this section shall be matched by the recipient city. city or local continuum of care program. A city’s or a local continuum of care program’s matching funds may be provided by charitable contributions or other grant funding.

(f)

(g) The department shall submit a report to the Legislature on the status of the grant program by no later than January 1, 2022. The report shall, at a minimum, include information regarding the implementation of the grant program and recommendations by the department to improve the program.

(g)

(h) The sum of ____ dollars ($____) is hereby appropriated from the General Fund to the New Beginnings California Account, which is hereby created. The Department of Community Services and Development shall apportion funds in the account to cities and local continuum of care programs with employment programs that meet the requirements specified in subdivision (b), not to exceed ______ ____ dollars ($____) per city. city or local continuum of care program. Funds in the account shall be available to the department without regard to fiscal years until the end of the 2023–24 fiscal year to carry out the purposes of this section.