Sacramento Democrats and the governor have thrown $17 billion at the homeless crisis over the past four years, yet the problem has only gotten worse.
As the 2022 legislative session moves forward, Senate and Assembly Republicans have made acting on the homeless crisis a top priority. Legislative Republicans’ have introduced bills to ACT on the homeless crisis which focuses on accountability, compassionate, and treatment.
The Republican reforms to ACT on homelessness start with ACCOUNTABILITY. There’s no way around it – California Democrats have simply failed to address the root causes of homelessness. California, like other states and the federal government, has spent a tremendous amount of money on homelessness, over several decades, with little evidence of success.
Legislative Republicans have introduced bills to ensure funding gets to programs that actually keep people off the street and deliver the help they need. The proposals would require the governor to make an annual report to the Legislature on homelessness efforts and begin a long-overdue audit of state homelessness spending and outcomes.
Housing and Shelter:
Despite the state having spent billions on housing efforts for the population, the amount of unsheltered homeless in this state is still a whopping 47% of the entire unsheltered homeless population in the country.
Legislative Republicans have proposed measures to support programs that help keep people off the streets and help those in the cycle of homelessness grow beyond the shelter walls. The Republican plan will streamline shelter construction, protect faith-based organizations that provide shelter and fund local government efforts to increase shelter capacity.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse:
In California, 23% of homeless people have severe mental illness and 22% struggle with chronic substance abuse. In Los Angeles County, 67% of the homeless had either a mental illness or a substance abuse disorder.
Legislative Republicans want to bring real compassion to the homelessness crisis and ensure those who need help will receive it. Among our proposals are bills to provide addiction services for the homeless using opioid settlement funds, provide prompt treatment to people having a mental health crisis and ensure those with severe mental illness are placed into treatment instead of left on our streets.
Prevention for People At-Risk:
While every homeless person comes to homelessness in their own way, we know certain groups – former foster youth, veterans, the mentally ill, the addicted, domestic violence victims, and the newly released from prisons and jails – are at far greater risk of homelessness than the general population. However, California’s prevention programs, to the degree they exist, show little evidence of success or accountability.
Republicans plan to help these populations break the cycle of homelessness, overcome adversity, and empower them to find and keep employment within the state. Republican proposals will create incentive and training programs to provide at-risk youth with employment opportunities and establish reentry programs for jail inmates at risk of becoming homeless upon their release.