View Original Notice ? Republicans act on homelessness where Democrats have failed
The progressive experiment is failing in California. Take a walk around any of the cities controlled by Democrats here and you’ll see dozens of homeless encampments, feces, and heroin needles littering sidewalks and streets.
Despite containing only 12% of the nation’s population, California is home to a whopping 28% of its homeless, and an astronomical 47% of its unsheltered homeless. Since 2018, the state has thrown $17 billion at homelessness and the problem has only continued to grow.
Under more than a decade of complete Democratic control of state government, California’s approach on this issue has been disjointed and scattershot.
Democratic ideas to address homelessness have failed – evidence of that failure is visible to anyone who witnesses the suffering that has taken over our streets. In Gov. Gavin Newsom’s own words, Democrats have been “as dumb as they want to be” when it comes to homelessness.
Still, their “plan” to address homelessness is to simply carry on the same ineffective programs but spend more money. If we continue in their direction, we can only expect to see continued worsening results.
It is time to look at new ideas instead of doubling down on failed ones.
That’s why Legislative Republicans have introduced a comprehensive package of more than a dozen bills to ACT on homelessness, now. These bills prioritize accountability, compassion and treatment. Specifically, they demand accountability from our leaders, focus resources on housing and shelter accessibility, mental health and substance abuse assistance, and provide support for people at risk of becoming homeless.
Our first set of bills will bring accountability to homelessness programs and ensure funding gets to programs that actually keep people off the street and deliver the help they need. Californians cannot afford to continue providing blank checks with no results. Our proposals would require the governor to make an annual report to the Legislature on his homelessness efforts and begin a long-overdue audit of state homelessness spending and outcomes.
California has spent billions on housing efforts for the homeless population – yet those programs have failed. That’s why 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.
Ignoring mental health and substance use disorders within the homeless population is the furthest thing from compassionate. Californians in every community of this state see streets littered with needles and walk past those who struggle to grasp reality. 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.
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 recently incarcerated – are at far greater risk 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 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.
Homelessness is all around us, and getting worse despite the continued empty promises from Capitol Democrats. Their ‘money solves everything’ approach is failing spectacularly, but they refuse to see it.
Now is the time to try something new, to finally address the root causes of homelessness rather than papering over it with layers of inefficient government and ineffective spending.
It’s time to ACT on homelessness, and this legislative session, Republicans intend to do just that. Learn more about our efforts at cssrc.us/ACT and add your name to the list of supporters who are calling for comprehensive and compassionate action now.
Scott Wilk represents the 21st Senate District, which includes the Antelope, Santa Clarita and Victor valleys. You can learn more about Scott by visiting his website. Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher represents the 3rd Assembly District, which encompasses all of Glenn, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba counties as well as portions of Butte and Colusa counties