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Homelessness is one of the biggest problems we face in the Central Valley, and I’m doing my part to support legislation and programs at the federal level to address this, especially when it comes to homeless youth, mothers and veterans.

When federal funding for Transitional Living Program and Maternity Group Home grants were at risk of expiring, I wrote a letter to the House Committee on Appropriations requesting a fix to prevent a funding gap that would harm homeless and runaway youth programs in communities nationwide. For organizations and shelters like the Center for Human Services in Modesto, a lapse in funding would have meant major cuts or permanent closures. To ensure this critical issue was addressed, I wrote an amendment that passed the House, and these funds were successfully reauthorized and signed to law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018.  

Additionally, I Introduced the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act with Reps. John Yarmuth (KY-3) and Dave Reichert (WA-8) to reauthorize and modernize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act that expired in 2013. This bill will add new provisions to address and prevent human trafficking among at-risk youth across the nation. It specifically provides funding for rural, suburban and urban communities to prevent and respond to young adult homelessness, strengthen prevention efforts through both outreach and basic center programs and enable centers and programs to serve youth for longer periods of time. It also addresses key areas of need, including helping young people to get their GED, provide support for young parents through Maternity Group Homes, and ensure access to services for the most at-risk demographics.

I also cosponsored two bills to benefit foster youth and homeless veterans. The Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act of 2017 to address failures in our country’s foster care program and allow minors to apply for housing assistance at age 16, before they aging out of the foster care system, and put them at the front of waiting lists for housing assistance to help keep them off the streets when they turn 18. And the Homeless Veteran Families Act would ensure that children of homeless veterans are included in federal grant funding to agencies providing housing. This would bring our veteran program up to par with other federal homeless programs.

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