Newsom Rejects Claims His Homelessness Plan Isn’t Working

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday rejected claims by the sheriff of California’s most populous county that record spending on homelessness initiatives isn’t putting a dent in the problem of people living in the streets and the state isn’t held accountable for where the billions of dollars go.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva criticized Newsom’s announcement this week that he would add $2 billion under his latest budget proposal to an existing $12 billion plan to reduce the number of homeless Californians.

“It’s going to the same homeless industrial complex, and there’s no accountability,” Villanueva said. “There’s no results that we’re seeing, there’s no vision. What is that success?”

Newsom shot back during a stop in the Los Angeles County city of Paramount. The governor pointed to legislation he signed last July that specifically requires cities and counties to follow strict accountability measures in order to receive state money to combat homelessness. Each local jurisdiction must submit an “action plan” by mid-2022 that includes data-driven goals. If the goals are met, the jurisdictions can qualify for additional resources.

“So there is a new framework around accountability, new planning metrics that include county sheriffs,” Newsom said Wednesday. “And I look forward to the sheriff’s detailed strategy on how best to use the resources that he’s been provided as well.”

Before visiting LA County, Newsom helped clean up a homeless encampment along a San Diego freeway to highlight the budget proposal that he said would build on previous efforts to end homelessness. In 2021, the state invested $50 million in encampment removal and this year he has proposed increasing that figure tenfold to $500 million.

“These encampments in California are unacceptable. The dirty streets in the state are unacceptable,” he said. “We have to do more. We have to do better.”

Newsom said that in the past year the state put 50,000 people who were homeless into hotel rooms that were turned into temporary shelters. On top of that, some 8,000 people were moved into hotels converted into permanent housing facilities that offer services such as mental health care and job placement.

The governor’s proposal calls for an additional 55,000 more units, including tiny homes, to be made available to move people off the streets.

Villanueva, who’s running for reelection, has fashioned himself as a brash outsider. Last summer he veered outside his traditional jurisdiction and showed up at LA’s Venice Beach wearing a cowboy hat and promising a cleanup of homeless encampments. Villanueva has dubbed city and county leaders “architects” of the homeless problem and rejects taking a more measured approach.

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Comments

  1. Newsom needs to psend a week living in a homeless camp. Then he will better understand “homeless” means “addicted,” not newly out of a job and evicted.

  2. This is the buffoon one gets when they keep pulling the “D” lever. How about a “go fund me” site to give him a convertible ride in front of the Texas Book Depository Bldg.?

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