Governor Signs Stone Bill To Help Homeless Youth

For immediate release:

October 2, 2013 (SACRAMENTO) – Governor Brown has signed Assembly Bill 346 by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay), legislation that will ensure that runaway and homeless youth have access to safe temporary shelters.  The measure enjoyed bipartisan support in the Legislature. 

“This bill will help our runaway and homeless youth by providing safe, licensed, and supportive environments where they can receive the encouragement they need to address and resolve the challenges they face.” said Stone. “I was pleased that Democrats and Republicans came together to support this bill, and I wholeheartedly thank the Governor for signing this measure into law.”

The measure will help ensure that runaway and homeless youth can access safe and appropriate short-term, temporary, voluntary shelters. Specifically, the bill would provide the state the authority to license and inspect Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelters, and to treat these shelters as a separate category designed specifically to meet the unique needs of these youth. 

Homeless and runaway teenagers represent some of California’s most vulnerable youth.  Often victims of abuse, these youth can experience numerous emotional challenges, which can be compounded by the lack of support available to them in their time of great need.  Having no safe space to stay can disrupt the simplest tasks in a young person’s life, making safe and appropriately-licensed temporary shelters especially important for this population. 

Stone serves as the Chair of the Assembly Human Services Committee, which considers legislation related to homeless shelters.

The new law takes effect on January 1, 2014.