Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

By Samuel Strait, Reporter at Large – August 6, 2021

After California’s dismal economy and Newsom’s Draconian fumbling with
Covid-19, the next issue that has not only not been solved , but
actually has gotten worse, that of homelessness.  California currently
boasts a population of 161,000 at best guess.  It could be very much
worse.  California has nearly thirty five percent of the entire
Country’s homeless, up from twenty eight percent since Newsom took
office.   It is not like it is much of a mystery to California’s
governor, something he has taken quite seriously to the recent tune of
$12,000,000,000 for such programs as “RoomKey” and “Homekey”.  These
programs, meant to “house first” then treat underlying conditions of
drug use, mental health issues, and abject poverty, are what many in the
nation have been using to solve their problems with homelessness.  While
this appears to encourage positive political capital with voters as
“doing something”, it comes at an enormous cost, while only solving the
problem for a fraction of the overall homeless population.

There are many schools of thought as to how government can effectively
be seen to do something about this growing problem. Yes, the $12 billion
dollars Governor Newsom has poured into the issue to “house first” has
seen some of those unsheltered get into for the most part temporary
housing,  The problem then remains, how to keep them there and
transition to more permanent places to live.  That appears to be a great
deal more difficult than Newsom’s assurances that the problem must be
solved and his policies are the ones that will turn the tide.  Placing
homeless into repurposed motels and apartment complexes may seem to
answer Newsom’s problem for periods of time, but it clearly is only part
of the solution.  Most folks in the State are now saying what’s next, as
the tents continue to adorn public places and highway sides and underpasses.

There have been and continue to be many of Newsom’s detractors who are
quick to offer suggestions on what to do next.   Newsom’s answer has
been to ask the federal government for help, since it has become clear
even to him, that his policies have failed to solve the problem and
likely can be pointed as making the problem much worse.  Homelessness
may never be completely solvable, but the explosion of it in California,
may have more to do with many other policies that have appeared on
Newsom’s watch.  Low income housing, mental health and addiction
services do not appear to be in the governor’s sights as essential to
improving the homeless crisis.  Lack of clear leadership when directing
local agencies who receive the homeless funding has created
mismanagement of the funding as well as astronomical costs to house so few.

Since choosing to “solve the homeless crisis” in 2018 and pouring
billions of dollars into that task, Governor Newsom can be said to “own”
the dismal results.  Thus far it cannot be truthfully said that the task
has been completed, in fact it has worsened.  As California moves
forward under Newsom’s leadership, there has been little evidence that
he has anything left in his well of ideas to accomplish his stated
goal.  This is just one other issue that has many Californians angry
with the governor.  Promises made, promises not kept.

Stay tuned for Part Four, the housing crisis in California and how
Governor Newson could have made the situation better and hasn’t.

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