California Ranks 3d on 50 State Index on Youth Homelessness

Developed as a partnership between the True Colors Fund and National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, the State Index on Youth Homelessness 2018 is:

  1. A state-by-state evaluation of the work being done to prevent and end youth homelessness in America.
  2. A snapshot of the legal, systemic, and environmental barriers that youth experiencing homelessness face.
  3. A guide to help elected officials improve their state’s work to end youth homelessness.

California tied for 3d in the top 5 states to address homelessness among its youth. Some areas where California has moved the needle relative to other states includes authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness, preventing their contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems, and promoting safety and inclusion by providing protections for LGBTQ youth within key state programs.

  • State does not criminally punish youth who run away.
  • State law provides partial or full contract rights for youth experiencing homelessness.
  • State allows unaccompanied youth under 18 to apply for health insurance coverage on their own.
  • State has RHY legislation similar to the federal Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) that provides funding for emergency services and other supports to prevent and end youth homelessness.
  • The State Department of Transportation has systems in place to address proof of residency requirements to receive a state-issued identification card.
  • There is a state interagency council on homelessness.
  • The state has banned conversion therapy for minors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and/or expression.
  • The state promotes safe and inclusive environments in child welfare, juvenile justice, and runaway and homeless youth programs by providing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Read the full report here.