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County of Santa Clara to Retain Funding Benefitting Runaway and Homeless Youth

Bill Signed into Law by Governor of California Enables County to Invest $1 Million in Local Youth Shelters
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF The County of Santa Clara will be able to keep
$1 million in funds for programs focused on serving runaway or homeless youth, thanks to a bill authored by State Senator Jim Beall and signed into law this week by Governor Jerry Brown.
“I am grateful to Senator Beall for helping us preserve these funds for our County,” said President Ken Yeager, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. “This money will support organizations dedicated to keeping some of the most vulnerable youth in our community safe and housed.”
In 1990, the County applied for and received $1 million grant to help fund a new Children’s Shelter.  The funds were available from Proposition 86, which was approved by the voters in 1988.  Proposition 86 authorized a $500 million bond issue to provide funds for the construction of county adult and juvenile correctional facilities.  The measure also allocated funds to youth centers and shelters.
However, on January 29, 2013, the Children’s Shelter was sold and under the terms of the State funding agreement, the County was required to repay the state grant upon sale. The Governor’s signature of SB 347 lifts that requirement and allows any county closing a children’s shelter that received Proposition 86 funding to redirect that funding to local runaways and homeless youth shelters.
“Instead of giving $1 million to Sacramento, our county can hang onto the cash to re-invest in services for runaway and homeless youth to keep them safe,’’ stated  Senator Jim Beall.
“Because of this funding we will be able to support non-profit agencies in tangible projects associated with the renovation, construction or purchasing equipment needed at shelters serving runaway and homeless youth,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, Chair of the Board’s Children, Seniors and Families Committee.
SB347 was sponsored by the County of Santa Clara and supported by the Housing Trust of Santa Clara, the California Alliance of Child and Family Services, the Bill Wilson Center, California Coalition for Youth, California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies, California Youth Empowerment Network, Housing California, and Mental Health America of California.
Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs (408) 299-5119
Posted: October 3, 2013