SUPPORT CA SB 914 to Include Domestic Violence Survivors in Homelessness Plans and Response
June xx, 2022 – SB 914
|The Honorable Anthony J. Portantino, Chair
California State Senate Appropriations Committee
|The Honorable Scott D. Wiener, Chair
California State Senate Housing Committee
|The Honorable Melissa Hurtado, Chair
California State Senate Committee on Human Services
Re: Support CA SB 914 to Include Domestic Violence Survivors in Homelessness Plans and Response
Dear Senators Portantino, Wiener, and Hurtado,
Thank you for your leadership in seeking to help those individuals at the cross-section of homelessness and surviving domestic violence. I am writing in support of Senate Bill 914 (Rubio) which seeks to enact the Homeless Equity for Left Behind Populations (HELP) Act and ensure that victim services providers and recipients are factored into homelessness planning and responses.
At Catholic Charities of San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo Counties, we are at the forefront of creating solutions and serving the core populations affected by domestic violence-driven homelessness. Women in our service area are the primary victims of domestic violence and comprise at least 70% of cases reported to police. Similarly, Black/African Americans and Latinx women are overrepresented as victims with 29% and 27% of cases, respectively.[i] At Catholic Charities 53% of our clients are women and of those approximately 36% are persons of color.
These vulnerable populations currently fall into a coverage gap within California’s efforts to address homelessness and often are left waiting more than 10 years to access stable housing, despite making up a significant portion of the homeless population.[ii] Domestic violence survivors and unaccompanied women experiencing homelessness are enduring an unprecedented number of challenges that include a global pandemic, economic hardships, and food insecurity.
SB 914 would fill this gap and ensure domestic violence survivors’ needs are taken into account when measuring how localities respond to homelessness. The passage of SB 914 would align California with the recent Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2022, which codifies specific national economic and legal support to ensure that victims are housed.
On behalf of Catholic Charities, please accept our support for this important bill which addresses the housing needs of the women we serve in the San Francisco Bay Area and extends to all vulnerable women in California.
Interim Chief Executive Officer
|cc: Senator Josh Becker
Assemblymember Matt Haney
|Assemblymember Marc Levine
Senator Mike McGuire
|Assemblymember Kevin Mullin
Assemblymember Phil Ting