When Ajanique Dunlap turned 18 she was counting on moving into a foster care placement developed specifically for older youth in foster care. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned. Ajanique found that the transitional housing provider had no apartments open.
“I had to leave my current placement, but I had nowhere to go. I started my first semester at Sacramento State while homeless.”
Thanks to the advocacy of John Burton Advocates for Youth, the 2020-21 state budget includes $4 million to ensure young people like Ajanique don’t face homelessness again. Instead, Ajanique will be eligible for a housing supplement to offset the high cost of housing in California.
The policy change will assist over 1,200 youth annually, ensuring access to housing and supportive services such as case management and counseling, crisis intervention, and assistance with education and employment.
Before this historic investment, waiting lists for transitional housing had reached over 330 youth and, 40% of transitional housing providers reported their waiting lists had grown since the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Housing Supplement was championed by Assembly Member Phil Ting. Thank you to Assembly Member Ting, Governor Newsom and a coalition of over 100 organizations for protecting young people like Ajanique, who can now stop worrying about housing stability and turn their attention to college.