During his first 100 days in office, California Gov. Gavin Newsom made early progress on campaign pledges to create universal health care, guarantee free community college and expand affordable housing and homeless services.
In January, advocates praised Newsom for his budget proposal to spend $625 million on homeless programs, saying he’d given the issue greater priority than past administrations. His current budget calls for $500 million in one-time funds for cities and counties to plan and build emergency shelters, navigation centers or supportive housing, all to help the estimated 130,000 homeless Californians.
…”The numbers are absolutely unacceptable. You’re talking about virtually every county in the state— there are folks that are homeless,” Paul Tepper, executive director of the Western Center of Law and Poverty, told us.
Experts weigh in on secretary promise
Tepper said “it’s absolutely critical” that California “makes progress, and makes it soon” on its homeless problem by partnering with federal and local governments.
He was less certain about whether that requires a state homeless secretary.
“It depends on what the person can accomplish,” Tepper said. “If the person or the council can bring more money to the table, can get more housing built than it’s important. We won’t know until we see the results. It’s kind of like relationships, it’s not what the person says, it’s what they do.”