California Gov Proposes $12 Billion Plan to Address State’s Homeless

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Supported by a large budget surplus and federal pandemic recovery money, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed a $12 billion plan to get more people experiencing homelessness off the streets and into homes of their own, reports The Guardian.

The proposal includes $8.75 billion over two years to create an estimated 46,000 housing units, expanding on a program he launched last year to convert motels and other properties into housing, as well as $3.5 billion for rental subsidies, new housing and shelter resources with the aim of ending family homelessness within five years that would help families with minors avoid losing their homes in the first place or help them get sheltered without spending days, weeks or months on a waitlist.

Nearly half the money in the proposed plan would go toward housing in places where people with mental health and other behavioral issues can get services onsite. California has an estimated 161,000 people experiencing homelessness, more than any other state, with the largest concentration residing in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti last month vowed to spend nearly $1 billion to move some of the 61,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County off the streets. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that Newsome also announced a $1.5 billion program to clean up garbage and spruce up neighborhoods around the state, a plan that homeless advocates worry could be an excuse for encampment sweeps.

In addition, a new state database shows that nearly 250,000 people sought housing services in 2020. Of that number, 117,000 people are still waiting for help while nearly 92,000 people found housing.

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