Governor Signs Senator Rubio’s Landmark Homelessness Bill, Targeting Help for Domestic Violence Survivors, Other Vulnerable Populations
SACRAMENTO, CA – Governor Gavin Newsom today signed a bill by Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) that targets help for domestic violence survivors, unaccompanied women, and other vulnerable populations who are experiencing homelessness.
Senate Bill 914 – also known as the HELP (Homeless Equity for Left Behind Populations) Act – would improve California’s response to homelessness by requiring cities, counties, and continuums of care that receive state funding to address homelessness to include domestic violence survivors and unaccompanied women within the vulnerable populations for whom specific system supports are developed. The bill also requires the California Interagency Council on Homelessness to set and measure progress towards goals to prevent and end homelessness for these vulnerable populations.
“The HELP Act makes California a national leader by including gender equity in homelessness responses,” said Senator Rubio. “I want to thank my co-sponsors for their amazing work in serving our most vulnerable populations, and Governor Newsom for signing this landmark bill into law. As our state and local governments continue to work toward ending the homeless crisis, we must make sure that we do not leave any part of the homeless population behind. Domestic violence services for individuals experiencing homelessness have been grossly underfunded, and the HELP Act is needed to help these and other vulnerable populations and focus on their unique needs.”
“We are grateful to Senator Rubio for her leadership on addressing the inextricable link between domestic violence and homelessness,” said Christine Smith, Policy Department for the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence. “And we are excited that Governor Newsom has now signed SB 914 into law. The HELP Act will ensure state and local governments will be one step closer to creating a gender-inclusive and intersectional homelessness system that will support survivors as they heal. This is one important element of the Partnership's economic justice work.”
“The Downtown Women’s Center applauds Governor Newsom for signing the HELP Act. This is an important step in addressing the longstanding gaps in our current homeless response system,” said Amy Turk, C.E.O. of the Downtown Women's Center. “As a co-sponsor of the bill, and the only organization in Los Angeles focused exclusively on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness, we are grateful to Senator Rubio for raising awareness of the specific issues facing unaccompanied women and victims of domestic violence.”
“Rainbow Services is grateful for the overwhelming support of Senator Rubio’s SB 914,” said Tatiana Doorman, director of community engagement for Rainbow Services. “We look forward to the day when survivors and unaccompanied women are no longer left behind in any community plan to end homelessness, and we are proud to be co-sponsoring this groundbreaking legislation.”
Since joining the State Senate, Sen. Rubio has prioritized addressing the state’s affordable housing shortage and homelessness crisis. A member of the Senate Housing Production Working Group, she has authored several affordable housing bills over the past two years. In 2022, Sen. Rubio authored Senate Resolution 61 declaring the month of March 2022 as Unaccompanied Women Experiencing Homelessness Awareness Month in California. In 2019, Sen. Rubio authored SB 751 to create the San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust for local communities to collaborate regionally and support affordable housing projects and homeless shelter programs.
Senator Susan Rubio represents Senate District 22. For more information, visit https://sd22.senate.ca.gov/
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