- Ben Cheever
- Communications Director
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua (D-Stockton) commended today’s advancement of Assembly Bills (AB) 258 and 1031, which will provide opportunities for individuals too often left at the margins of society. AB 258 lowers the barriers for homeless individuals seeking shelter across the state, while AB 1031 provides assistance for survivors of human trafficking to find employment.
“Too many members of our community aren’t equipped with the proper assistance and resources to support the difficult situations they find themselves in,” said Assemblymember Villapudua. “Allowing homeless pet owners to stay in a shelter overnight without forfeiting their companion is a necessary step to decrease the number of individuals sleeping on the streets every night. As well, providing the preference for employers to hire survivors of human trafficking offers them the opportunity to a reliable job to help advance towards a healthier and safer lifestyle.”
Nearly 24 percent of homeless individuals in California own a dog and/or cat. While these companions play an important role for the physical and mental wellbeing of their owners, most homeless shelters across the state do not currently allow for pets to stay in the shelter overnight. This fixable problem forces too many people to stay on the streets overnight so they wouldn’t have to forfeit ownership of their pets.
Human trafficking is among the world’s largest growing criminal enterprises, estimated to be a $150 billion/year global industry. This is a difficult world to escape and continuously pulls its victims back into the dangerous and traumatic lifestyle due to poverty or lack of employment opportunities. Requiring state agencies to give additional preference to survivors of human trafficking when hiring for internships or student assistant programs will help pull them out of this vicious cycle and into a stable opportunity for safe employment and growth.
“We need to look into many of the various intricacies that exasperate some of our worst societal problems, and I am encouraged that these viable solutions will be advancing one step closer to provide safer and more sustainable opportunities for the people of California,” said Assemblymember Villapudua.