September 25, 2018
The Honorable Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
Governor of the State of California
California State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: AB 1921 (Maienschein) – CalWORKs: housing assistance
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Governor Brown,
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, supports AB 1921 (Maienschein) and respectfully requests your signature. This bill would provide that as part of the CalWORKS program, a homeless family that has used all available liquid resources in excess of $100 is eligible for homeless assistance benefits to pay the costs of temporary shelter for up to 16 cumulative calendar days every 12 months, instead of the current limited 16 consecutive calendar days every 12 months.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimated in 2016 that nearly 120,000 homeless people lived in California in 2016, including over 20,000 members of families with children. Many did not receive the assistance they need because of legal loopholes that left them ineligible and without a stable home. Homelessness and unstable housing are associated with increased adverse health and material hardship compared to having stable housing. Children in these environments are at risk of developing chronic diseases as well as developmental problems.
Children who grow up in extreme poverty, including those who are homeless, are shown to have lower social skills, worse peer relationships, and more internalizing and externalizing behavior problems.
AB 1921 (Maienschein) would help families off the street and into stable housing by allowing them to use applicable shelter benefits on non-consecutive calendar days. This would be highly beneficial to thousands of California families who are currently living in unstable housing conditions.
Pediatrician members of California AAP Chapters 1,2,3 and 4 statewide respectfully urge your signature on AB 1921 (Maienschein). Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: Office of Honorable Brian Maienschein, California State Assembly (Author)
AAP-CA Leadership; CEO Kris Calvin; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne