California Gov. Newsom seeks $1 billion to address homelessness

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Homelessness

California Governor Gavin Newsom is proposing a $1 billion in funding to continue his administration’s comprehensive solution to the growing homelessness crisis across the state.

He also plans to use a portion of his proposed funding to tackle mental health, which is partly fueling street homelessness.

Gov. Newsom also signed an executive order to create the California Access to Housing and Services Fund as part of the state’s solution to reduce and prevent homelessness. The Governor wants to allocate $750 million for the Fund to help people get off streets and provide supportive services including:

  • pay rent for individuals experiencing homelessness
  • support regions to bring more dwelling units
  • help stabilize board and care facilities/homes

He will also direct the Department of General Services to identify state-owned land that can be used by cities, counties or non-profit organizations to temporarily house homeless individuals.

Gov. Newsom wants to expand Medi-Cal

Additionally, Gov. Newsom’s proposal included $695 million, increasing to $1.4 billion by 2022 to transform Medi-Cal. His objective is to boost preventative healthcare to lower costs.

His proposal called Medi-Cal Healthier California for All will address the many problems affecting chronically unsheltered individuals. It will provide funding for tenancy support services, housing navigation services and recuperative care. It will also provide targeted rental assistance if a person’s housing insecurity is related to expenses due to costly health care services.

In a statement, Gov. Newsom said, “The State of California is treating homelessness as a real emergency – because it is one. Californians are demanding that all levels of government – federal, state and local – do more to get people off the streets and into services – whether that’s housing, mental health services, substance abuse treatment or all of the above.”

“That’s why we’re using every tool in the toolbox – from proposing a massive new infusion of state dollars in the budget that goes directly to homeless individuals’ emergency housing and treatment programs, to building short-term emergency housing on vacant state-owned land,” he added.