AB 236 (Maienschein) would provide that homeless assistance is available to homeless families that would be eligible for aid under the CalWORKs program but for the fact that the only child or children in the family are in out-of-home placement pursuant to an order of the dependency court, if the family is receiving reunification services and the county determines that homeless assistance is necessary for reunification to occur. The bill would also raise by $20 the nonrecurring special needs benefit to pay for temporary shelter for a family of up to 4 members, to $85 a day, and would raise the daily maximum from $125 to $145. It would also delete the requirement that homeless assistance be used in consecutive calendar days.
AAP Positional Letter
February 28, 2017
The Honorable Brian Maienschein
Sacramento, CA 94249
Fax: (916) 319-2177
RE: AB 236 (Maienschein): CalWORKs: Housing assistance
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Assemblymember Maienschein:
I am writing on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, to let you know that we strongly support your proposed legislation AB 236 (Maienschein). This bill would provide homeless assistance to homeless families that would be eligible for aid under the CalWORKs program but for the fact that the children in the family are in out-of-home placement, if the family is receiving reunification services and the county determines that homeless assistance is necessary for reunification to occur. It would also raise the special needs benefit for family shelter costs.
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. However, many do not receive the assistance they need because of legal loopholes that leave them ineligible. This leaves many families without a stable home, which is highly dangerous and detrimental to a family’s health and well-being.
AB 236 (Maienschein) would help get families off the street and into stable housing by expanding homelessness assistance benefits to families who have children in out-of-home placement and who must regain stable housing for reunification to occur, as well as by raising the nonrecurring special needs benefit for homeless families of four from $65 to $85 and allowing families to use these benefits on nonconsecutive calendar days. This would be highly beneficial to thousands of California families who are currently living in unstable housing conditions.
Pediatricians across the state support AB 236 (Maienschein). We thank you for your leadership on behalf of the health and well-being of children, youth, and families in California.
Nancy Graff, M.D., Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
State Government Affairs Committee, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
CC: Kris Calvin, CEO; AAP-CA Leadership; Lydia Bourne