U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) today hosted a follow-up meeting to his August roundtable addressing the ongoing homelessness crisis that’s plaguing communities across the Central Valley. Rep. Denham is working in Congress to pass legislation to fight homelessness in the Valley including H.R. 5339, the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act of 2018 along with Rep. Yarmuth (D-KY) to reauthorize and expand homeless youth services. Following the event, Rep. Denham and local officials served meals to those in need at the H.O.S.T. (Helping Others Sleep Tonight) House.
“Homelessness in the Central Valley is a crisis,” said Rep. Denham. “All levels of government need to come together to work alongside our faith-based community and local shelters.”
The event comes on the heels of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s announcement of over $330,000 in housing assistance for persons with disabilities and over $115,000 in rental assistance for homeless veterans in San Joaquin County.
Rep. Denham’s August roundtable in Modesto saw local elected officials, community activists, and citizens alike come together to explore innovative solutions to the homelessness crisis in California’s 10th Congressional District.
Homelessness continues to be a significant problem in the Central Valley and the number of homeless individuals in California has increased the last three consecutive years. In addition to his legislative efforts on Runaway and Homeless Youth program funding, Rep. Denham has cosponsored H.R. 4099, the Homeless Veteran Families Act, H.R. 2069, the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act, to help homeless veterans and help provide important residency options for foster children.
Congressman Denham has long been a champion of Runaway and Homeless Youth programs, spearheading an effort to save funding for expiring Transition Living Program (TLP) and Maternity Group Home (MGH) grants last year. The effort was successful and, as a result, organizations like the Center for Human Services in Modesto avoided a lapse in federal funds that would have caused major cuts or permanent closures until the next grant cycle began. The letter, authored by Denham, signed by 78 members of Congress and supported by the National Network for Youth can be found here. Recently, the Denham fix was carried over to the next cycle of homeless youth centers whose grants would have otherwise expired through passage of the bipartisan Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act of 2019.
H.O.S.T. House in Patterson, Calif., where the event was hosted, offers a unique model for combatting homelessness first hand. More information about the Enterprise RESTART shelter model can be found here.