The Need for a Youth Guaranteed Housing Program in Merced

May 13, 2022 /

Lots of laneway homes can be found along Lillooet Street in East Vancouver.The Merced Coalition for Fair Housing and Fund Our Futures Coalition is asking for a $5 million Local Housing Trust Fund to be part of the upcoming City of Merced budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

One of the programs that would be included under a Local Housing Trust Fund is a Youth Guaranteed Housing Program. This program, geared toward 18-24 year olds, would help youth such as those who are transitioning out of foster care, are low income, or otherwise would need assistance to get housing without the help of a parent or guardian.

Young people in Merced weighed in on why this program is important and how they could benefit from it if it’s something that applies to them.

I like the idea, I’ve met many people who have to stay living in abusive situations because they don’t have the necessary funds to move out.

I think it’s very important for Merced to start a program like this, it would help young adults out of abusive situations, and stop a sizable amount of youth homelessness.

I would be able to benefit from this by being able to move out of my home without being put into immediate crushing debt.

Malachi Sanchez, 18.

I think it would be beyond helpful for the mass amounts of young people that are homeless and have nowhere to go.

It’s important because we have the right to housing and it’s a part of basic human rights, as well. It’s important because the youth are the future.

It is something I would benefit from because I’m already 20 and I know how hard it can be for people my age or freshly 18 to get a house or apartment.

Akina Westmoreland, 20.

Sounds like an amazing idea on paper, but the execution would have to be pretty perfect to pull it off. I am not familiar with this subject as I’ve been recently introduced to it.

Homelessness has always been a huge problem and to have a kid on the streets who hasn’t been given a fair shot at life is something terrible. They need help and to give help is a town’s job.

Anonymous, 17.

It is a wonderful idea and would be a great way to assist youth that are not as privileged as their peers. [It would] lower the numbers of homeless and at risk youth.

Currently, I am housed in a garage and a program like this would help assist me reclaim my independence and help me as I figure out working and saving.

Anonymous, 25.

I think it’s important especially for teens who don’t have homes or people to support them.

Yes, it would be [something I benefit from] because I’m a foster kid and I don’t have parents to support me like others, so when I need housing it would be available [to help me].

Laisha Fernandez, 17

The idea of Merced having a guaranteed housing program for young people is essential to those living in Merced.

It is important that Merced has a guaranteed housing program for young people because many of our young people don’t have the necessary support to get themselves housed.

A youth guaranteed housing program is not something I would benefit from because I don’t struggle with my housing but if it were something that I needed I know that I could fall back on it.

Anonymous, 17