Senator Grove’s Bill to Break the Cycle of Homelessness, Starting with California’s Foster Youth, Moves Forward

Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) announced her bill SB 1484 passed unanimously in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee. SB 1484 would allow private sector employers to obtain a tax credit for hiring foster youth or former foster youth.

Every year, California youth make up a significant portion of the state’s total homeless population. They are severely impacted by the increasing costs for basic housing and food. One way to end the homelessness cycle is by having a stable job. Employment leads to greater self-sufficiency and discipline, reduces the time youth spend on the streets, teaches key job and social skills, and provides the income stability necessary to find and maintain housing. Together, these factors reduce the likelihood that a young person will become stuck in a cycle of poverty, homelessness, and dependency on public benefits and services.

“I believe that having a job is one of the best solutions to poverty,” said Senator Grove. “If you look at the root causes of homelessness in California, a fourth of unsheltered people have been in foster care. This legislation would help break the cycle of homelessness for foster youth by incentivizing business to provide job opportunities, giving foster youth a reliable source of income and path to overcome the chronic cycle of homelessness.”

SB 1484 takes a preventative approach that invests in youth before they become chronically homeless, giving them a better chance to improve their life. It also helps provide businesses and the state with a well-trained workforce. SB 1484 not only provides an opportunity for foster youth, but provides a tax credit for employers.

The credit would be applied against a business’s taxable liability in the amount of 40% of a qualified worker’s wages for the first year of employment up to $2,400. This pathway to employment for foster youth is a step in the right direction.

SB 1484 will next be heard in Senate Appropriations.