With the launch of the Homeless Youth Handbook, advocates and California youth who are unhoused, precariously housed, or transitioning out of homelessness have gained a major new set of legal resources. A multi-year, multi-state pro bono initiative by Baker McKenzie in partnership with corporate partners and a broad range of legal services and youth support organizations, the Homeless Youth Handbook is the product of thousands of hours of dedicated pro bono and volunteer work. The Handbook offers young people along with the social workers, legal advocates, shelter staff, school and medical personnel who support them a set of state-specific legal resources that speak plainly about topics including shelters, foster youth transition, LGBTQ+ issues, schools and education, employment, sexual exploitation and assault, public benefits, and immigration, among many others.
The California Homeless Youth Handbook joins handbooks from 6 other states and the District of Columbia, with at least two additional handbooks on their way. It was launched on January 31, 2019, in an event held at the Google Community Space in San Francisco. The Handbook represents the work of a collaboration including Baker McKenzie, Bay Area Legal Aid, Tipping Point Community, and Google.