California Governor Gavin Newsom is making good on a promise to establish a task force to solve the issue of homelessness as the state also grapples with a housing crisis.
During a news conference in Oakland on Tuesday Newsom called homelessness in California an epidemic that has spread throughout the state, but said it will be best addressed at the local level. The governor added that the task force will work with local governments to develop regional plans for addressing the issue.
The governor said the task force will work with local governments to develop regional plans for addressing homelessness. He had previously tapped Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas to lead the task force.
Newsom also is proposing the state increase spending on homelessness, calling for $1 billion in next year's budget to address the issue.
The Governor announced the new Task Force after touring a hotel conversion site in downtown Oakland that is now the Henry Robinson Multi-Service Center transitional housing facility. While on the tour, the governor met with formerly homeless individuals and underscored the importance of state-local partnerships to combat homelessness.
The Task Force is expected to send to the governor a minimum of one annual report on the work being done to support development of regionally cooperative plans dealing with chronic homelessness to the governor. One the goals is to highlight practices and programs which are succeeding on the local level and might work well on a statewide basis.