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12 Groups Fighting Youth Homelessness Win Grants Totaling $38 Million

“This funding represents an important lifeline in protecting some of the most vulnerable members of our communities,” said California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) Director Mark Ghilarducci. “Through the partnership with these community-based organizations we are able to provide meaningful support and change lives.”

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@PaulCobbOakland @GavinNewsom @NNPA_BlackPress @BlackPressUSA @SenAlexPadilla @LCastroRamirez
“Youth overwhelmingly cite family conflict and breakdown — commonly abuse or neglect, alcohol or drug addiction of a family member, pregnancy, and rejection over sexual orientation — as the major reasons for their homelessness or episodes of running away,” reads the California Coalition for Youth website.

By Aldon Thomas Stiles, California Black Media

Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that California awarded $38 million in grants to 12 community-based organizations working to combat homelessness among youths and young adults in the state. The governor’s office says the grants are part of a $14 billion ongoing commitment to end homelessness in the state.

The funds, distributed through the Homeless Youth Emergency Services and Housing Program, will be used to assist young people who are facing housing insecurity or are currently unhoused in 12 different counties.

“These grants will provide relief and emergency support to young people across California experiencing homelessness, who are too often left in dire situations to fend for themselves,” said Newsom.

“We’re providing immediate aid for those living on our streets — bringing resources and services directly to young people in need and helping them onto a path towards a stable future,” the governor continued.

The funds will also go toward providing “mental health support with crisis intervention and stabilization services,” according to Newsom’s office.

About a quarter of California’s Homeless population suffers from severe mental illness, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Newsom is also proposing special courts to adjudicate cases involving mental health involving unhoused people across the state.

“There’s no compassion stepping over people in the streets and sidewalks,” Newsom said at a press briefing earlier this month. “We could hold hands, have a candlelight vigil, talk about the way the world should be, or we could take some responsibility to implement our ideas. That’s what we’re doing differently here.”

“This funding represents an important lifeline in protecting some of the most vulnerable members of our communities,” said California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) Director Mark Ghilarducci. “Through the partnership with these community-based organizations we are able to provide meaningful support and change lives.”

According to the California Homeless Youth Project, 200,000 Californians under the age of 18 are homeless for one or more days during the year.

“Addressing youth homelessness takes a village,” said Lourdes Castro Ramírez, secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. “This is why this investment in community-based organizations that make up the village and provide bridges of support to young people is an important part of our efforts to prevent and end homelessness.”

Advocates for homeless youth say there are many factors that can lead to youth homelessness, including addiction and hostile reactions from community members about a young person’s social identity.

“Youth overwhelmingly cite family conflict and breakdown — commonly abuse or neglect, alcohol or drug addiction of a family member, pregnancy, and rejection over sexual orientation — as the major reasons for their homelessness or episodes of running away,” reads the California Coalition for Youth website.

The organizations receiving the funds are: Bill Wilson Center (Santa Clara County); Center for Human Services ( Stanislaus County); Community Human Services (Monterey County); Interface Children and Family Services (Ventura County); Larkin Street Youth Services (San Francisco County); Orangewood Foundation (Orange County); Redwood Community Action Agency (Humboldt County); Ruby’s Place (Alameda County); San Diego Youth Services (San Diego County); Volunteers of America Los Angeles (Los Angeles County); Waking the Village (Sacramento County) and Women’s Center – Youth & Family Services (San Joaquin County).

Newsom also announced his administration is allocating more than $116 million in funding to seven different “Homekey” projects as a part of the governor’s effort to provide housing for homeless people.

Newsom’s pandemic-oriented homelessness program, called Project Roomkey, will continue to receive support from the federal government as well. The state-run initiative converts hotels and other facilities into temporary housing for homeless people.

A companion program, Project Homekey, provides funding to create permanent housing for formerly unhoused people to counties, cities, local councils and other government authorities.

“Continued support from FEMA will allow us to extend Project Roomkey to get more people off the streets and into shelter,” the governor said. “Since the start of the pandemic, California has moved with unprecedented speed, helping more than 50,000 homeless individuals.”

Last month, California’s junior U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla introduced a bill proposing a nearly $532 billion federal investment over 10 years for tackling California’s and the nation’s twin homelessness and housing affordability crises.

Speaking at a Project Homekey site in Sacramento called La Mancha Way Apartments, Padilla, a Democrat, said, the legislation titled “The Housing Act for All” would provide funding for both existing programs and experimental initiatives.

“Every person has a right to the dignity and security of housing,” said Padilla. “It’s going to take all levels of government working together to rebuild a more inclusive and equitable society for all. The legislation is an opportunity to invest and align resources in expanding affordable housing and strengthening proven solutions.”

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Bay Area

Schaaf Seeks Retraction from Post Over School Closing Remarks

In a KQED interview, Mayor Libby Schaaf supported the proposed closing of 15 schools as an “opportunity” and even went father. “This is not just some painful but necessary budget cut,” she said. “I really feel for parents, students, teachers. We have been through so much trauma, and they have every right to feel distrustful and fearful about this decision. But I believe that it is different this time.

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Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. Oakland.ca.org photo.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. Oakland.ca.org photo.

By Ken Epstein

The Office of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has demanded a retraction from Oakland Post, saying the newspaper was incorrect to characterize Schaaf as a supporter of permanently closing up to half of the public schools in Oakland.

“She’s never held that position,” said Justin Berton, the mayor’s spokesperson, in an email to the Post.  “As you know, knowingly publishing false information is not only unethical, it’s potentially actionable,” he wrote.

Berton was responding to a sentence in an article in last week’s Post that said, “Schaaf, a longtime supporter of charter schools, has spoken forcefully in the media in favor of closing as many as half of the city’s public schools.”

The Post’s comments on the mayor’s position was based on a Feb. 4, 2022, interview with KQED. At the time, the school district had just announced that it was closing 15 schools this year and next and was planning to close more in future years.

The City Council took a strong position opposing the school closings not Mayor Schaaf.

In the KQED interview, Schaaf supported the proposed closing of 15 schools as an “opportunity” and even went farther.

“This is not just some painful but necessary budget cut,” she said. “I really feel for parents, students, teachers. We have been through so much trauma, and they have every right to feel distrustful and fearful about this decision. But I believe that it is different this time.

“When you look at districts like Stockton, Fremont, San Jose, they serve roughly the same number of students, about (33,000). But they do it in almost half the campuses, between 41 and 48 campuses in those three districts, whereas Oakland has EIGHTY CAMPUSES (Schaaf’s emphasis).

“This is an opportunity to do better for our students, our educators, our families, and I trust this leader to deliver on that promise in a way that has never happened before.”

To review Mayor Schaaf’s remarks, go to the original interview at https://archive.org/details/KQED_20220205_030000_KQED_Newsroom/start/360/end/420

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Bay Area

Residents Demand Right to Vote on Use of Public Funds for A’s Stadium Project

“We’re here to commit to the residents of Oakland that they must have a right to vote on whether to spend over a billion public dollars (on the proposal) for the Oakland A’s to build a stadium and real estate development at Howard Terminal,” said City Council member Noel Gallo, speaking at the media event Wednesday morning.

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Councilmember Noel Gallo speaks at a press conference Wednesday, June 29, calling on the City Council to put public funding for the Oakland A's real estate development on the November ballot. Photo by Ken Epstein
Councilmember Noel Gallo speaks at a press conference Wednesday, June 29, calling on the City Council to put public funding for the Oakland A's real estate development on the November ballot. Photo by Ken Epstein

Oakland City Council may decide July 5 whether to place measure on November ballot

By Post Staff

Oakland community leaders and activists, port workers and environmental advocates joined City Councilmember Noel Gallo on the steps of City Hall this week to urge the City Council to allow the public to vote on the use of public funds for the A’s stadium and private real estate development at Howard Terminal.

“We’re here to commit to the residents of Oakland that they must have a right to vote on whether to spend over a billion public dollars (on the proposal) for the Oakland A’s to build a stadium and real estate development at Howard Terminal,” said Gallo, speaking at the media event Wednesday morning.

“This is an unprecedented grab of public funds,” which could grow considerably because there seems to be no limit on the city’s liability for potential cost overruns, Gallo said.

“We have to learn from our past experiences (with the Raiders) to not make the same mistake again,” he said.

The rally comes in anticipation of a July 5 City Council meeting that will consider a resolution to put an advisory vote on the November ballot on the use of public funds to support a privately owned stadium and real estate development at Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland.

At the Tuesday, July 5 meeting, the Council will discuss the measure and may ultimately take a final vote on placing it on the ballot. Public comment for this item will be taken at the beginning of the meeting.

In recent weeks, more than 4,000 Oakland residents have signed a petition in support of putting the measure on the November ballot.

Other speakers at the City Hall media event included James Vann, an advocate for affordable and homeless services.

“This is the people’s money, and the people should get to decide,” said Vann.

Civil rights attorney and activist Walter Riley said that Oakland A’s owner John Fisher is acting like a “corporate raider” who takes money out of the A’s instead of investing in his team.

Instead of giving a billion dollars to Fisher’s private development, the city should be investing in building and maintaining public parks and other infrastructure needs, he said.

Naomi Schiff, a housing activist, said, “The Howard Terminal deal keeps getting more expensive” for taxpayers. adding that the stadium at Howard Terminal would be built on a “inundation zone and liquification zone.”

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Activism

Juneteenth Father’s Day for the Formerly Incarcerated

The giveaway was a testament of the Formerly Incarcerated Giving Back to the community in the best way they could. Participants received an array of gifts including clothing, work pants, jeans, socks, toiletries and gift cards. The event gave them a place to identify with other men who have overcome many hardships and now live independently of the direct supervision of the criminal justice system.

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From left to right: Dora Parlor, Richard Johnson and Ayanna Weathers. Photo by Jonathan ‘fitness’ Jones.
From left to right: Dora Parlor, Richard Johnson and Ayanna Weathers. Photo by Jonathan ‘fitness’ Jones.

By Richard Johnson

The founders of The Formerly Incarcerated Giving Back organization sponsored a Father’s Day celebration event that highlighted a “just serve spirit” which recognized dads who want to “give and serve” their families and communities, that reached over 150 men in deep East Oakland. Fathers from all walks of life, languages and nationalities were in attendance.

The giveaway was a testament of the Formerly Incarcerated Giving Back to the community in the best way they could. Participants received an array of gifts including clothing, work pants, jeans, socks, toiletries and gift cards. The event gave them a place to identify with other men who have overcome many hardships and now live independently of the direct supervision of the criminal justice system.

The celebration was co-sponsored by several organizations, including the African American Sports and Entertainment Group, (AASEG) headed by Ray Bobbitt, B.O.S.S. Reentry program, and the Reentry, The Post News Group and Violence Prevention programs directed by John Jones III.

The participating fathers were offered counseling and services to cover back rent, rental deposit, utility bills, credit repair and much more.

As fate would have it, one of the Founders of Formerly Incarcerated Giving Back, Mr. Paul Redd, was called home by the Lord. His passing came on Father’s Day. We could never question God’s work when He calls His flock home. Paul will be greatly missed by many who loved, appreciated and respected him greatly. We, the Formerly Incarcerated Giving Back, gave back in our experience our profound condolences to the family. We will certainly continue the work that he helped to establish. Rest in Peace my brother.

To utilize the services of BOSS (Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency), please contact John Jones at 510-459-9014. For more information on this activity and future activities, please contact Richard Johnson at fatijohns28@gmail.com.

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