Youth Centers / Youth Shelters Program
The Youth Centers Youth Shelters Program provided state funds for the acquisition, renovation, and construction of afterschool youth centers and overnight youth shelters throughout California; all funds have been disseminated.
This program utilized a variety of funding sources to enable cities, counties, and community-based organizations to acquire, renovate, and construct youth centers and youth shelters. The program helped to create 99 facilities throughout California.
The Youth Centers and Youth Shelters Program involves four allocations of funds dedicated to the renovation and construction of local centers and shelters serving at-risk youth.
- The County Correctional Facility Capital Expenditure and Youth Facility Bond Act of 1988 (Proposition 86) provided $25 million for the acquisition, construction, renovation, and equipping of youth centers and shelters. These funds were awarded to 41 youth centers and 28 youth shelters.
- Ten years later, the Legislature passed AB 2796, which established the Gang Violence Prevention, Detention, and Public Protection Act and provided another $25 million for to nonprofit agencies to acquire, renovate and construct youth centers (Chapter 499, Statutes of 1998). This appropriation funded 24 additional centers.
- In 2000, Proposition 12 augmented the AB 2796 appropriation by $5 million, which funded five more youth centers.
- AB 1740 (Chapter 52, Statutes of 2000) included funds for one additional project.
Since this program involves grants of public funds, the law requires continuous monitoring of the youth centers and shelters (10 years for renovations of existing structures and 20 years for new facility construction).
Youth centers offer activities and services during non-school hours to children and teens (ages 6-17), including recreation, health and fitness, citizenship and leadership development, job training, anti-gang programs, teen pregnancy prevention programs, and counseling for problems such as drug and alcohol abuse. In addition to these basic program features, youth centers may offer mentoring, tutoring, culinary arts, gardening, computer skills training, music, arts and other activities.
Youth shelters provide services to assist runaway, homeless, abused and neglected youth with their immediate survival needs, complete their education and/or obtain employment, and help reunite them with their families or find a suitable home. Many shelters operate in conjunction with youth centers, allowing sheltered youth to take advantage of the full range of youth center programs and services when not in school or involved in activities related to family reunification or independent living.