While the LA Countywide homeless services delivery system housed more young people in 2018 than ever before, more youth are still falling into homelessness. Many youth experiencing homelessness were previously in the foster care system. Following a November 2018 motion authored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis on transitional housing for former foster youth, today the Board of Supervisors approved two actions to increase transitional housing for youth by nearly $9.5 million, adding 237 transitional beds for LA County’s youth who have experienced foster care.
“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 a happy and healthy life,” said Supervisor Solis. “Today’s actions will create 237 additional transitional beds for vulnerable youth, and will provide thousands of youth with stable housing. I am committed to reducing homelessness among these youth and prioritizing their success as they transition out of foster care.”
Last November, Supervisor Solis authored a motion directing the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the Probation Department to create more housing for transition age youth (TAY). Among other directives, the motion ordered the creation of 33% more transitional housing for youth ages 18 to 21 in foster care, and 50% more transitional housing for youth 18 to 25 previously in foster care.
For youth ages 18 to 21 in foster care, today’s actions increased funding from $21,140,320 to $29,557,000, which translates to an increase from 533 beds to 709 beds (33%). For youth 18 to 25 previously in foster care, funding will be increased from $2,165,106 to $3,247,659, resulting in an increase from 82 beds to 123 beds (50%).
Since joining the LA County Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Solis has remained committed to ensuring 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. Supervisor Solis’ November 2018 motion, in addition to directing the creation of additional housing for TAY, also ordered County Departments to create a universal referral process, enhance data collection protocols, and address the discharge process to ensure youth do not leave their housing program and become homeless.