An estimated 3,306 youth are experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County. Many of these youth are LGBTQ, and most are African American or Latino. Today, in response, the Board of Supervisors approved a motion authored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, and co-authored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, directing the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), LAHSA, and other agencies to work together to enhance the array of housing available to these youth.
“Youth transitioning out of foster care have often experienced significant trauma throughout their young lives. Coupled with supportive services, housing can make the difference between homelessness and long-term success. By addressing some of the funding challenges associated with housing former foster youth, we can move these youth off the streets and into homes,” said Supervisor Solis. “Providing these youth with housing will stabilize their lives, and help them focus on school or employment opportunities. I am committed to prioritizing the success of these youth as they transition out of foster care.”
“We know that transition age youth between the ages of 18 and 24 disproportionately struggle to find stable housing and are greatly at risk of becoming homeless,” said Supervisor Kuehl. “According to the latest Homeless Count, more than 3,000 young people in this age group are currently homeless. We have to do much better by coordinating and expanding existing services, in order to prevent our young people from becoming homeless in the first place.”
Today’s motion directs LAHSA, DCFS, Probation, DMH and the Center for Strategic Partnerships to report back on available funding to enhance housing for transition-age youth (TAY), evaluate the Independent Living Program housing and its related funding challenges, establish a universal referral process, address the discharge process to ensure youth do not leave their housing program and become homeless, evaluate how a consultant could engage in this work, and enhance data collection protocols. The County Departments will report back to the Board of Supervisors every quarter for two years to assess their progress.
This motion furthers Supervisor Solis’ efforts to ensure the TAY population has access to housing. In June 2017, Supervisor Solis authored a motion directing LAHSA and DCFS to provide a report-back examining the utilization of housing for TAY transitioning out of the County’s foster care system.
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