CALIFORNIA, USA — California governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed an executive order aimed at prioritizing the issue of homelessness and calling for $1.4 billion in funding to address it.
Newsom's order mandates that by the end February, state agencies must develop a strategy to provide resources to help house people. It also calls for a $1.4 billion allocation to help homeless people throughout California.
Newsom's executive order will establish the California Access to Housing and Services Fund and will require the state agencies to make assessments of available land assets for housing, and it will create a state homeless crisis response team.
"The state of California is treating homelessness as a real emergency because it is one," Newsom said. "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."
The order will also make 100 camp trailers available for temporary housing along with mobile health and social services clinics to be deployed across the state.
"The property the state already owns, if it is not being utilized, the governor is saying we are going to do everything possible to tackle this issue," said San Diego County Supervisor.
Fletcher, who sits on the governor's task force on homelessness, played a key role in creating the project. One of his missions since being sworn in last year has been to build more affordable housing - even going up against big developers on properties slated for luxury housing.
Of the proposed $1.4 billion budget, $750 million will be dedicated to getting people off streets and into supportive services "quickly," according to the governor's office. The money will pay rent for homeless people, support areas to create dwelling units and help stabilize board-and- care facilities -- with the money proposed to go directly to service providers, the governor stated.
California state legislators on Monday introduced a bill that would create a new state agency, the Governor's Office to End Homelessness.