LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Local leaders Wednesday praised Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order that calls for $1.4 billion in funding to address the state’s growing homeless population.
“Solving homelessness is the top priority for Angelenos and people across California, and our state budget ought to reflect that urgency,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “Gov. Newsom has been a champion on this issue throughout his career, and with this executive order he’s making an even bigger investment in confronting the homelessness crisis.”
The order calls for $1.4 billion in funding to assist those experiencing homelessness and further mandates that state agencies develop strategies to provide resources to house people by the end of February.
“I look forward to working with the governor and state leaders through the budget process to make certain we are building on the progress we’ve made through state support of critical city initiatives, like our 2,300-bed emergency shelter program,” Garcetti said.
Los Angeles was already expecting to receive $117 million from the state this year in grant funding for homeless assistance.
The order will also create a homeless crisis response team, establish the California Access to Housing and Services Fund that will require state agencies to assess available land assets for housing and make 100 trailers available for temporary housing along with mobile health and social services clinics to be deployed across the state.
“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.”
Of the proposed $1.4 billion budget, $750 million would be dedicated to getting people off the streets and into supportive services “quickly,” the governor’s office said. The money would also pay rent for homeless people, support areas to create units and help stabilize board-and-care facilities — funds would go directly to service providers, Newsom said.
“Our Golden State — the fifth largest economy in the world — has for far too long not been golden for everyone,” County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. “The governor recognizes this for what it is, an undeniable emergency, and is showing that he can bring to bear both ingenuity and prudence to right the course of our state’s history.”
The most recent homeless count found that more than 36,000 people are homeless in the city of Los Angeles, an increase of 16% over the previous year. Countywide, the homeless population jumped by 12% to about 59,000.
This year’s count is scheduled to take place Jan. 21-23.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)