Florida Bill Would Protect and House Pregnant Homeless Women

Florida Bill Would Protect and House Pregnant Homeless Women

A new bill would create a grant program to fund housing and resources for pregnant homeless women in Florida

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
February 13, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, FL—A new bill seeks to provide resources and housing for pregnant homeless women in Florida. Through a new grant program within the Department of Children and Families, the measure hopes to temper the state's homeless crisis.

SB 1442's grant program would provide housing and resources to homeless pregnant women for up to eight months. The program would also cover up to six weeks of postpartum care.

"This bill creates the Florida State Maternity Housing Grant Program to add another layer of support for women and families in Florida during pregnancy," said the bill sponsor, Republican Sen. Erin Grall, in Tuesday's Senate Appropriations Committee on Health and Human Services.

While there are other services available to pregnant homeless women in Florida—such as the Brehon House and the Sunlight Home—none would offer the state-wide expansive reach provided under SB 1442, which would be created under the Department of Children and Families (DCF). However, an appropriation of funds has not yet been allocated or identified under the bill.

Just between 2022 and 2023, the number of homeless people increased by 12 percent—28 percent of which were families with children. In the same period, Florida was among the top five states for the largest absolute increase in homelessness. Further demonstrating the homelessness crisis is a 2009 study, which found that while ten percent of women in the U.S. were pregnant, 50 to 60 percent of homeless women were pregnant.

Sen. Erin Grall is no stranger to pregnancy-related bills, having sponsored Florida's six-week abortion ban last year. In addition to SB 1442 this session, she hopes to expand the Wrongful Death Act to unborn children via SB 476 and create a taxpayer-funded, pro-life website in SB 436.

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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