Newsom Vetoes Bill to Train ‘Affirming’ Families to Host LGBT Homeless Youth Ages 18 to 24

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Newsom Vetoes Bill to Train ‘Affirming’ Families to Host LGBT Homeless Youth Ages 18 to 24

A person wears a gender neutral pronoun jacket during Pride Month on June 1, 2022. (Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images)

Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

10/16/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

In a recent legislative update, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his veto of a bill that would have helped homeless LGBT youth find transitional housing, specifically in San Diego and Sacramento.
Assembly Bill 589, authored by Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner (D-Encinitas), aimed to help youth ages 18 to 24 in the LGBT community transition from homelessness to permanent housing, or reunite with their families, and would have provided funds to community-based organizations to help facilitate the new program.
The youth would have been placed temporarily in the homes of volunteer host families using a “housing first” approach, which prioritizes finding housing over treatment or therapy, including drug or addiction treatment.
In a veto letter, Mr. Newsom said the proposed bill would have added costs outside the reach of the state’s current budget.
“With our state facing continuing economic risk and revenue uncertainty, it is important to remain disciplined when considering bills with significant fiscal implications, such as this measure,” he said.
According to the governor, the bill would have created an unfunded grant program to be considered in the annual budget, and this year the Legislature sent bills that—if all were enacted—would have surpassed this year’s budget by $19 billion.
The bill sought to create a pilot program to “identify, screen, and train LGBTQ+ affirming households that host LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness due to family rejection with a safe place to stay,” Ms. Boerner said in a May press release.
If enacted, the state’s housing department would have established a three-year program administered by LGBT-serving community organizations and used funds to place such youth with host families trained in “crisis intervention with a trauma-informed approach,” according to the bill text.
Since 2016, homeless services organizations receiving state funds must follow the state’s housing first model, and the new pilot program would have been required to comply, regardless of the youths’ drug use, treatment completion, or participation in services offered. The model uses a “harm reduction” approach, which educates people on how to engage in safe drug and alcohol consumption practices.
In 2022, there were an estimated 9,000 homeless youth in the state, and in California, currently, there are 60,000 children and youth in the state’s foster care system with around 3,500 of whom “age out” each year leading—in some cases—to homelessness, according to an Assembly Floor analysis of the bill.
No opposition was received for the bill.
Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

Author

Rudy Blalock is a Southern California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. Originally from Michigan, he moved to California in 2017, and the sunshine and ocean have kept him here since. In his free time, he may be found underwater scuba diving, on top of a mountain hiking or snowboarding—or at home meditating, which helps fuel his active lifestyle.

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