Senator Susan Rubio’s Bill Aims to Prevent Unaccompanied Women Homelessness
SACRAMENTO, CA –Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) today introduced a bill that would be the first nationally to recognize unaccompanied women who are experiencing homelessness as a distinct population in order to target resources to help them.
Senate Bill 678 – the Unaccompanied Women Experiencing Homelessness Act of 2021 – would make California the first state in the nation to recognize unaccompanied women experiencing homelessness without children or dependents as a distinct homeless subpopulation. The bill would require the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to collect data about this subpopulation in accordance with state and federal privacy and confidentiality laws, and include that data in the state’s Homeless Data Integration System in order to improve the state’s ability to design programs and strategies to address their specific needs.
“Women who are on their own and experiencing homelessness are too often forgotten, and there is a lack of specific programs to serve their needs,” Sen. Rubio said. “Despite making up nearly one-third of homeless adults nationwide, no state, including California, classifies unaccompanied women as a distinct group. Many of these women are dealing with trauma, including domestic violence and sexual assault, which contributed to their situation. The first step to solving our state’s homeless problem is having accurate data about who is unhoused and what their needs are, and I’m proud to author this bill to accomplish that.”
“Senator Rubio has been a tireless champion for domestic violence survivors and the needs of women in Sacramento, and we applaud her for authoring this bill,” said Amy Turk, CEO of the Downtown Women’s Center, the first provider of permanent supportive housing for women in the country. “As a leader for advocating on behalf of the needs of unhoused women, Downtown Women’s Center know that the data, recommendations, and measurable goals that result from this legislation will uplift the voices of unaccompanied women, which have previously gone unheard.”
“The first step in solving any problem is to understand it. And we can only understand the challenges unaccompanied women experiencing homelessness face if we have the data,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas. “I applaud this critical legislation because we are in the midst of an urgent crisis – according to the 2020 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, there are more than 21,000 women experiencing homelessness in LA County. This bill will help to shine a light on their needs and allow us to support them with more funding and services.”
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