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New Bills Focus On State's Homeless Youth

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, January 24, 2011

Ginny Puddefoot is with the California Homeless Youth Project, the group that did the study. She says there are 53 programs in California that serve homeless children and teens between 12 and 24 years of age. Only 19 counties have any beds to accommodate homeless youth.

PUDDEFOOT: "We had such a hard time finding these programs. Imagine what it must be like for a young person trying to find support when they find themselves on the street."

Democratic lawmakers are pushing a set of bills to deal with the issue. One would raise awareness about youth homelessness; the other creates regulations for emergency youth shelters that will make them eligible for more federal funding. Neither depends on state support.
California currently spends less than half a million dollars on assistance for homeless youth. The bulk of the funding - about seven million dollars - comes from the federal government.
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