The new state budget for California has allotted significant funds to help battle the issue of homelessness, yet experts say that the population of homeless youth across the state will likely not benefit from the new budget deal.
At least 100,000 youth in California are homeless, which overall makes up 28 percent of the homeless youth population across America; thirty-eight of California’s 58 counties do not provide services to the homeless youth population however, according to a 2011 survey from the Homeless Youth Project.
California’s new budget will include $45 million toward shelters for the overall population of homeless persons and $22 million for homelessness prevention projects, but experts are predicting that unless funds are targeted to help the specific population, homeless youth will likely not benefit. Key issues include homeless youth’s inability to qualify for child welfare if unaccompanied and a strong trend of hesitance to seek help through programs that are shaped for older, chronically homeless populations.
Currently, the only targeted program that exists through state funding is the Homeless Youth and Exploitation Program, which receives approximately $1 million annually.
Read full story at: KQED