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Too Big to Ignore: Two Years Later
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  1. Too Big to Ignore:Two Years Later Will include cover of new report The John Burton foundation Wednesday, February 15, 2012 10:00to11:30

  2. Webinar Technical Details • Call in phone number for live audio: (609) 318-0025; Access code: 696-673-107 • To submit live questions, click on the “question and answer” arrow on your screen, type your question, and hit “send”.

  3. Today’s Presenters • Amy Lemley, John Burton Foundation • Debbie Raucher, John Burton Foundation • Reed Connell, Alameda County Foster Youth Alliance • Heather Dearing, California Coalition for Youth • Shahera Hyatt, California Homeless Youth Project

  4. Background • “Too Big to Ignore” outlined a statewide policy agenda • Collaboration between John Burton Foundation (JBF) and California Coalition for Youth (CCY) • Released November 2009 • Can be downloaded at

  5. The Report’s Three-Fold Purpose

  6. Purpose of Today’s Presentation

  7. Summary of Progress Notable progress: 7 out of 12 recommendations No notable progress: 4 out of 12 recommendations Condition worsened: 1 out of 12 recommendations

  8. Recommendation #1:Building Funding Capacity “Build the capacity for homeless youth providers to successfully apply for local, state, and federal funding”

  9. Rec. #1: Building Funding Capacity • 2,500 hours of technical assistance provided through the Homeless Youth Capacity Building Project (HYCBP) to 193 youth-serving organizations

  10. Rec. #1: Building Funding Capacity • New public funding • At least 7 organizations within HYCBP received large public grants • At least $7.3 million in total • New HUD rules: interim regulations for Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program • Provides definition of “homeless” • Youth’s foster care history now considered risk factor for homelessness • Definition of “unstably housing” changed from “three moves in 90 days” to “two moves in sixty days”

  11. Recommendation #2:TAY & Permanent Funding “Include the needs of homeless transition-age youth in the creation of a permanent funding source for housing development”

  12. Rec. #2: TAY & Permanent Funding • Youth Recommendations Developed:

  13. Rec. #2: TAY & Permanent Funding • JBF continues to support local and statewide efforts around permanent funding for affordable housing • Dissolution of Redevelopment agencies creates increased urgency • SB654 would help retain housing funds

  14. Recommendation #3:Youth Homelessness Prevention “Expand California’s investment and expertise in youth homelessness prevention”

  15. Rec. #3: Youth Homelessness Prevention • Senate Bill 123: California Runaway, Homeless and Exploited Youth Act (Liu) = halted • Would have required the California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA) to develop a statewide plan to address youth homelessness • SB 123 passed out the Senate Human Services but was stalled in Senate Appropriations • CalEMA now proposed for elimination in 2012-13 Governor’s Budget • Back to the drawing board • Senator Liu submitted request to CA Homeless Youth Project to develop a preliminary state action plan for addressing youth homelessness – to be published spring 2012

  16. Recommendation #4:Abused & Neglected Youth “Better accommodate homeless youth whose circumstances meet the legal definition of abuse or neglect in the foster care system”

  17. Rec. #4: Abused & Neglected Youth • Innovative 2-year project: • Alameda County AB 12 Homeless Youth Demonstration Project Partners: Alameda County Foster Youth Alliance, Dreamcatcher Youth Shelter, Bay Area Legal Aid, Alameda County Social Services Agency, Alameda County Probation Department

  18. Rec. #4: Abused & Neglected Youth Presenting needs of 27 youth screened through the demonstration project: • 20 youth had a diagnosed mental health disorder. • 12 reported currently having health insurance (11 through MediCal) • 9 youth reported having been sexually exploited as a minor • 8 youth asked to be tested for HIV • 6 requested a doctor visit as soon as possible • 6 reported currently using illicit drugs • 2 needed immediate medical assistance • 2  reported being a recent victim of violence • 2 were pregnant • 1 youth had a child but did not have custody

  19. Rec. #4: Abused & Neglected Youth Key Questions: • How many homeless minors were referred to Alameda County Department of Children & Family Services? • How many had cases opened? • What can we learn about why cases were opened and why they were not?

  20. Rec. #4: Abused & Neglected Youth Overall goals of the demonstration project:

  21. Rec. #4: Abused & Neglected Youth • Youth-friendly foster care placement developed – The Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP) • Approved AB 12 placement for youth in extended foster care • Allows youth to live in apartments, shared setting or student housing while receiving their monthly federal foster care payment ($776) • Likely more appealing placement to homeless youth than traditional foster care placements • Special outreach to homeless youth • Children’s Law Center and California Youth Connection developed outreach plan to educate homeless youth and providers about extended foster care

  22. Recommendation #5:SSI for Disabled Youth “Increase access to SSI benefits for youth with disabilities”

  23. Rec. #5: SSI for Disabled Youth Percentage of Foster Youth Exiting with SSI in Place or Pending SSI Application Percentage of Probation Youth Exiting with SSI in Place or Pending SSI Application

  24. Recommendation #6: Expand THP-Plus “Expand California’s THP-Plus program to serve three out of five eligible homeless former foster youth”

  25. Rec. #6: Expand THP-Plus • THP-Plus budget reduced • Decrease in the number of former foster youth able to access safe, affordable housing and supportive services Number of Youth Served by THP-Plus by Year

  26. Rec. #6: Expand THP-Plus • Realignment of foster care and child welfare services • Shifts many functions from the state to the county level, motivated by the state budget deficit* • THP-Plus is now a county program – no longer funded by State General Fund • Counties can now determine whether the THP-Plus fund will remain with THP-Plus or be used for other child welfare activities • JBF is training THP-Plus providers on using data to advocate for THP-Plus to local decision-makers, including Board of Supervisors *For more information on realignment, download JBF’s 1/25 webinar at

  27. Recommendation #7:Extend Foster Care to 21 “Extend the upper age limit for foster care in California to age 21”

  28. Rec. #7: Extend Foster Care to 21 • Passage of extended foster care • Assembly Bill 12 signed September 30, 2010 by Governor Schwarzenegger • AB 12 extended foster care in California: to age 19 on January 1, 2012 to age 20 on January 1, 2013 to age 21 on January 1, 2014 contingent on legislative approval • Will prevent homelessness among thousands of youth in foster care Most significant victory within the agenda developed by HYCBP

  29. Recommendation #8: FUP Authorization “Expand the federal Family Unification Program (FUP) authorization to better meet the needs of homeless transition-aged foster youth”

  30. Rec. #8: FUP Authorization • Growth in the number of FUP vouchers in California from 1992 to 2010: 6,937 272

  31. Rec. #8: FUP Authorization • Knowledge of the Family Unification Program is building statewide • HYCBP webinar educating participants on how to apply for FUP was attended by 140 individuals • FUP has been a training topic at each of the transition-age youth conferences held by The California Wellness Foundation in 2009, 2010 and 2011 • September 2011 HUD instructions clarify FUP tracking

  32. Recommendation #9:Youth Shelter Regulations “Develop alternate regulations for California’s Basic Center programs to ensure sustained Runaway and Homeless Youth Act funding”

  33. Rec. #9: Youth Shelter Regulations • SB 119 (Lowenthal) – would require CDSS to create a new category of licensing for emergency youth shelters • Received unanimous support, however, • Cosponsors (JBF & CCY) were advised to work directly with CDSS to explore alternatives to legislative mandate • Collaborative process to develop regulations • CCY hosted meetings with CDSS, shelter operators and U.S. HHS Representative • Temporary solution anticipated to be developed within 9-12 months that will result in a more permanent licensing category

  34. Recommendation #10:RHYA Appropriations “Increase appropriations for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act to $165 million annually and advocate for California to receive funding in proportion to its population”

  35. Rec. #10: RHYA Appropriations • Flat funding for Runaway & Homeless Youth Act, with a stated goal of $165 million

  36. Recommendation #11:State Interagency Team “Utilize the State Interagency Team for Children and Youth as the primary body responsible for addressing youth homelessness at the state level”

  37. Rec. #11: State Interagency Team • SIT Homeless Youth Workgroup • The California Homeless Youth Project (HYP) met with the SIT to request formation of a workgroup • HYP to meet with the SIT again in late February • State Interagency Council on Homelessness • Assembly Bill 1167 (Fong and Hill) calls for State Interagency Council (but does not mention homeless youth as a distinct population requiring state attention) • Assemblymember Atkins convened the Select Committee on Homelessness

  38. Recommendation #12: Research Agenda “Pursue a research agenda on homeless youth”

  39. Rec. #12: Research Agenda • California Homeless Youth Project • Produces high-quality research on youth homelessness, most recently: • Programs Serving California's Homeless Youth: Results of Point-in-Time Survey (January 2011) • Struggling to Survive: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning Youth on the Streets of California (March 2011) • Developing toolkit in collaboration with LAHSA for conducting Point-in-Time surveys of homeless youth (to be released spring 2012) • This may improve the likelihood of a homeless youth count for California and nationally – currently no well-substantiated calculations exist

  40. Highlights

  41. Current Action Items

  42. Download the Reports “Too Big to Ignore” (2009) & “Too Big to Ignore: Two Years Later” (2012) can both be downloaded at

  43. Questions or Comments? • Enter your questions on your screen now by clicking the “question and answer” arrow, typing your question, and clicking “send”. Or direct later questions or comments to: Amy Lemley Debbie Raucher Heather Dearing Reed Connell Shahera Hyatt