SAN DIEGO — Mayors from the largest cities in California met in Sacramento Wednesday to advocate for funding to address homelessness across the state.
The mayors, led by San Diego's Mayor, Todd Gloria, lobbied the state capitol to establish a more permanent fund to combat the state's ongoing homelessness crisis.
"Homelessness is solvable, but we need the resources to scale the projects and programs to have a lasting impact," Mayor Gloria said. “Today, California’s Big City Mayors stood united in our call for permanent, ongoing state funding direct to cities so that we can continue helping unsheltered people and families get out of dangerous encampments and on a path to housing. This issue must be treated with the urgency this crisis deserves by all levels of government, and we are committed to collaborating with the state, counties, and other cities to ensure we are all producing results.”
The Big City Mayors group provided this fact sheet for the public.
This visit calls on state leaders and Governor Newsom to continue investing money into addressing the homelessness crisis. Specifically, they’re asking for increased funding from the state and a commitment to making that funding permanent.
They’re asking for $6 billion over the next three years. That money will be used for emergency shelter beds, safe parking lots, and bridge housing programs.
The State of California has provided grants for local governments directly to address homelessness in larger cities, counties, and continuums of care.
San Diego's Regional Task Force on Homelessness is one such organization.
"These programs are working. We connect tens of thousands of people to permanent housing every year." Mayor Gloria said.
The mayors are expected to detail the positive impact of these policies and results. They have said with this funding; they can work on addressing encampments and ending unsheltered homelessness across the state.
They also established a framework for moving forward -- they say increasing bed capacity should be the top priority. They also want things like land use waivers to build projects quickly.
“California’s big cities are on the frontlines of the homelessness crisis, and our top priority must be confronting the homelessness emergency with the urgency it requires,” said Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass. “Ongoing State investments and partnership are crucial to progress on this issue and creating hope and opportunity for unhoused Californians.”
In a press release, the coalition listed proposals for how the state can ensure accountability and move forward in a positive direction:
"The coalition’s report also proposes how the state should ensure accountability and chart progress toward reducing unsheltered homelessness and encampments. This framework includes the following:
- Big cities are getting direct allocations, and funding is being made permanent;
- Funding remains flexible to allow for crisis management and scaling of innovative solutions to reduce homelessness;
- Outcome goals focused on reducing unsheltered homelessness and increasing the number of people permanently housed;
- Bonus funding was released immediately to deal with the current crisis ($360 million in bonus funds have been budgeted but not released);
- Asking the state to consider land-use waivers for city projects that use HHAP funding;
- Encouraging the state to prioritize uses that create new shelter or housing capacity, as the mayors have successfully done;
- Promoting collaboration so that counties and continuums of care are also encouraged to use their funds to address needs in big cities."
The Big City mayors, which include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, and Riverside, represent over a quarter of California's population.