By Vanguard Staff
Oakland, CA – The governor on Friday took his cabinet members to visit an encampment in Oakland to discuss the inhumane living conditions too many Californians face.
“Since his first day in office, the Governor has made addressing homelessness a top priority for the administration,” a release noted.
Governor Newsom’s multibillion-dollar plan to tackle homelessness is “an all-government effort to rapidly provide housing and connections to behavioral and physical health supportive services to individuals experiencing homelessness, while also cleaning up the state’s highway off-ramps and encampments.”
“Encampments across our state are constant reminders of the broken dreams of struggling Californians and their loved ones, making them a stubborn, painful issue that we must tackle with empathy,” said Governor Newsom. “Homelessness affects us all and California is taking an all-hands approach to tackle this challenge from every angle.”
PPIC recently conducted a survey finding that that the overall share of Californians who say homelessness is a big problem in their part of the state is nearly two-thirds (64%), similar to the share who held this view before the start of the pandemic.
There is agreement across partisan groups that homelessness is a big problem (68% Democrats, 64% Republicans, 68% independents).
According to a report by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, California’s homeless population increased 7% from 2020 to 2021.
The governor and his cabinet members walked the Oakland encampment and spoke directly with people experiencing homelessness. The visit was followed by a cabinet meeting to discuss the strategies all state agencies can employ to tackle the homelessness crisis.
Governor Newsom’s multibillion-dollar homeless housing investments will provide more than 55,000 new housing units and treatment slots in the coming years. Building on last year’s historic $12 billion investment to help get the most vulnerable people off the streets, the California Blueprint proposes an additional $2 billion investment in behavioral health housing and encampment rehousing strategies, creating a total $14 billion package to confront the homelessness crisis.
Earlier this year, the governor announced $50 million in grants through the California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council’s Encampment Resolution Grant Program, which was created in partnership with the Legislature. The grants will serve 19 communities throughout California to provide shelter or housing for 1,401 individuals currently experiencing homelessness in encampments.
In September 2021, Governor Newsom set a goal of cleaning 100 encampments—since then, the state has cleaned 728 encampments, coordinating with local governments that provide housing and services to former residents. The state is on course to clear 1,000 encampments by the end of 2022.