The South Los Angeles Homeless TAY and Foster Care Collaborative held a “Homeless But Not Hopeless” Policy Summit at Holman United Methodist Church to establish a policy agenda to improve services and outcomes for South Los Angeles’ homeless and at-risk Transitional Age Youth.
Assemblyman Mike Gipson was one of the key speakers who shared key legislation that his office lead to improve higher education attainment for homeless youth with Assembly Bill 1228. AB 1228 extends provisions already provided to foster youth to homeless youth by: (1) establishing a priority for campus housing at California Community Colleges (CCC), the California State Universities (CSU), and University of California (UC) campuses; (2) requiring CSU and UC to develop plans that make on-campus housing accessible to homeless and foster youth during breaks; and (3) expanding use of the “admissions by-exemption” category for homeless youth. Assemblyman Gipson spoke of other bills including restorative justice employment opportunities for youth who have been incarcerated.
Sanctuary of Hope’s youth were major participants in the policy summit. Two were key speakers that addressed foster care and street homelessness. The audience was able to learn that a strong support system was a key factor in helping them build resiliency to go to school and get a employment. Also, SOH youth highlighted the importance of a variety of partnerships with other providers like Brotherhood Crusade and The RightWay Foundation for expanded their ability to get linked to employment, housing, and mental health services.
Other participants in break out panels and policy presentations included: Alisa Orduna, Homelessness Policy Director for Mayor Eric Garcetti: Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees, Rachel Brashier, Policy Director City of Los Angeles Council District 8 Marqueece Harris-Dawson, and Dhakshike Wickrema, Deputy for Mental Health and Homeless Advocacy for County Board of Supervisors Second District Mark Ridley-Thomas.