SAN DIEGO — Governor Gavin Newsom along with Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins participated in a headcount of the homeless in San Diego on Thursday. The “We All Count” point-in-time count is a yearly event when volunteers survey those experiencing homelessness.
The count, which began early Thursday morning, uses methodology to meet HUD requirements, according to the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless.
News 8 spoke with Governor Newsom and Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins early Thursday morning during their tour.
Governor Newsom also assisted PATH, (People Assisting the Homeless), volunteers with food preparations at a San Diego homeless shelter later Thursday morning.
Since last week, Newsom has traveled to several areas across California as part of statewide “homelessness tour,” according to his office. He used the stops to highlight state and local partnerships in which travel trailers and medical service tents are being deployed to areas of the state to assist the homeless. The first partnership was announced in Oakland last week where 15 travel trailers will be installed on city-owned land; the second was announced Tuesday for Los Angeles County which will receive 30 travel trailers before Feb. 7.
Newsom followed the release of his proposed budget, which includes more than $1 billion to fight homelessness.
Declaring that moral persuasion and economic incentives aren’t working to bring people in from the sidewalks, Newsom’s task force on homelessness last week called for a “legally enforceable mandate” that would force municipalities and the state to house the growing number of homeless Californians.
The proposal urged the Legislature to put a measure on the November ballot that would force California cities and counties to take steps to provide housing for the more than 150,000 Californians who lack it or face legal action.
Such a measure would require a two-thirds vote of both legislative houses to be brought to voters. California law does not now penalize the state or local governments for failing to reduce their homeless populations or to make housing sufficiently available to people without it.
Gov. Gavin Newsom recently sent a request to U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson asking the Trump administration to provide surplus federal land that could be used to build housing for the homeless, mirroring a new state program. The governor earlier this month directed his administration to identify unused state property that can be used by local governments or nonprofits. That includes state property alongside highways or state roads, state fairgrounds, and vacant hospitals and health care facilities.