Homelessness is plaguing the state of California. Everywhere you look, there are tents on the sidewalk, people sleeping on park benches, and setting up camp under overpasses.
Local governments across the state have created plans to curb homelessness.
So, what does Gavin Newsom think of these plans? He’s not a fan – and he’s issued a blanket rejection of all of the plans. This also means that hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to address the problem are on hold.
“Californians demand accountability and results, not settling for the status quo,” Newsom announced.
Right now, over 100,000 people sleep outdoors on any night based on estimates from the state.
Democrats are looking to be more aggressive in their approach. They want to clear people from the public spaces and provide them with permanent housing.
With Newsom repudiating the plans set forth by mayors across the state, which means he has a plan of his own to address homelessness, right? Not quite.
There are billions of dollars budgeted to help local governments address homelessness. Many of these people can be moved into permanent housing – but the plan has to make fiscal sense.
Newsom said that the local plans he’s seen fall short. As such, it would only reduce homeless numbers by around two percent over four years – and that doesn’t provide as much assistance as it should for the kind of money that will be thrown at the problem.
“At this pace, it would take decades to significantly curb homelessness in California – this approach is simply unacceptable. Everyone has to do better – cities, counties, and the state included.”
The slick-haired governor may be onto something. Considering the amount of criticism the state receives from conservative media, it’s clear that something has to be done. It’s unacceptable for such a large number of people to live on the streets. And cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco are failing.
Newsom doesn’t want to see billions wasted. He wants to address the problem.
The question is whether liberals can find a solution that really works.
Newsom has talked about convening with local officials later on in the month.
Some mayors in the bigger cities are “perplexed” and find that Newsom is cutting off their funding without any explanation. One would think that the explanation is clear: do better.
Why should Newsom continue to throw money at such cities as Oakland and San Francisco without any clear plan as to how to address homelessness?
London Breed, San Francisco’s mayor, has been one of the more vocal. She’s held her position as mayor since 2018 – and homelessness has gotten worse, not better. She feels that now is not the time to delay funds simply because Newsom wants accountability. She said that “The State has decided to abruptly withhold funds that we have been planning around and that will actually make a difference in our communities — all without any warning or conversations or opportunities to address their concerns.”
She’s even more liberal than Newsom. She wants the money to spend as she wants without having to show anything for it. She’s not addressing the root problem, which is not to simply provide for the homeless but to get them to no longer be homeless.
The encampments found across the state are unacceptable, and Newsom is well aware of this. And yet, the liberal mayors don’t seem to care.
Earlier in the year, Newsom threatened to withhold over $4 million in aid to the city of Oakland because of them having a multi0-block encampment.
Newsom has a plan, but it will take the local governments to buy into it all. He’s enacted a civil courts program that focuses on behavioral health. And he is being more aggressive on housing development so that there are actually places for the homeless.
Newsom’s message is simple: do better. Now, we must wait to see if those big-city liberal mayors can figure out how to do that. We’re guessing they can’t.