Last month, United Way Program Officer Zahirah Mann and Home For Good intern, Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Ul led a Veterans Group at this year’s CSH Lobby Day. This day of action brought together housing provider leadership, staff and residents, with local and state legislators to advocate for bills focusing on creating affordable housing for California residents. Legislative visits focused on two important pieces of legislation currently under consideration: Senate Bill 391 CA Homes & Jobs Act (D-DeSaulnier) and Assembly Bill 2061 Foster Care Prevention (D-Chau).
Our group educated politicians and advocated for support of SB 391 (CA Homes and Jobs Act), which is estimated to generate upwards of $500 billion dollars towards affordable housing, in addition to 29,000 new jobs in the construction sector. Housing advocates pointed to SB 391 as another piece of the solution, which will reallocate much needed, and currently unutilized, funding to alleviate gaps in housing for our Veterans. Additionally, our group discussed another bill, AB 2061, which focuses on foster care prevention by allocating funding towards housing assistance for Public Child Welfare involved families. According to CSH, “As many as 30% of children in foster care could be reunited with families if the family had access to a safe place to live, demonstrating homelessness is a barrier to family reunification.” Discussion on the importance of these two bills to provide valuable resources in support of these populations is vital to ending homelessness amongst veterans and foster youth.
All California Assembly Member offices (Salas-D, Brown-D, Muratsuchi-D, Gorrel-R, and Fox-D) that United Way was able to meet with displayed positive interest in the bills and continuing to educate themselves prior to making a decision. These elected officials though rely on their local constituents and community members to inform their ultimate decisions. Californians can take action by contacting their local legislative representatives to support these important bills. Learn how to send your own letter of support to your local representative here.