Housing & Homelessness

Youth Homelessness in California: What Impact has the Five Percent Youth Set-aside in the Homeless Emergency Aid Program Had So Far?

Last Updated May 8, 2019

In recognition of the severe housing crisis facing Californians, the State’s 2018-19 budget included a one-time investment of $500 million to address homelessness. The funding was administered as the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP), and communities were required to designate a minimum of five percent to address youth homelessness.

This report explores early HEAP implementation, with a focus on how HEAP funds for homeless youth have been spent, including how many jurisdictions invested more than the minimum five percent on youth, the lessons learned in the process of distributing youth HEAP funding, the impact of the youth set-aside, and policy implications for future investment in youth homelessness.

Findings were drawn from from the 43 Continuums of Care (CoCs) and 11 large cities that were allocated HEAP funds in addition to other stakeholders.