2020 California Code
Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC
DIVISION 8 - MISCELLANEOUS
CHAPTER 7 - Homeless Youth Act of 2018
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 youth of color, 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, including shelter, mental and behavioral services, family maintenance and strengthening, and substance abuse treatment programs.
(e) Research indicates that young people experiencing homelessness are more likely to have used or to begin using drugs and alcohol due to their experiences of trauma and abuse prior to becoming homeless or as a result of homelessness, including commercial sexual exploitation.
(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 goal to prevent youth homelessness, 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 posthousing and followup services for young people experiencing homelessness, including those with substance use disorders.
(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 841, Sec. 3. (SB 918) Effective January 1, 2019.)