Funds

California’s governor meets with leaders on homelessness after blocking funds

Local leaders from across California met with Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday, two weeks after he rejected their proposed plans to address homelessness and blocked $1 billion in state funds because, he said, the proposals weren’t aggressive enough. “What I want to see is what everybody wants to see: the streets of California cleaned up,” Newsom said Friday. Newsom’s office said the purpose of Friday’s meeting was to get state, city and county leaders on the same page about how the state moves forward to respond to its homelessness crisis and to get the money moving. The governor’s office sent a letter to cities and counties, noting funds will start flowing as soon as next week, so long as they agree to set more aggressive homelessness response plans and follow state guidelines when applying for the next round of grants, which also totals $1 billion. Those applications are due in two weeks.The money is part of the state’s Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention grant program, which provides money to every county and the 13 largest cities in the state, on the condition that each has an approved plan by Newsom’s administration that aims to reduce the number of people on the streets and boost permanent housing. | Video Below | Gov. Newsom blocks funding and rejects homelessness plans from across the stateThe funds represent the third round of grants from the program that was established in 2018. It’s part of a $15.3 billion, multi-year effort to get unhoused people off the streets, sidewalks, parks and underpasses in California. Newsom’s office said 21 of the 75 applicants had signed the agreement as of Friday afternoon. He said he did not think any jurisdiction would hold out on agreeing to the terms. “I think everybody wanted an opportunity to dialogue,” Newsom said. “I think it’s also exciting there are a lot of new people, and I think we’re turning the page in big cities and large cities.” Newsom’s office said funding would be at risk for jurisdictions who do not sign onto the agreement. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said Friday he was one of the 21 local leaders who agreed to the governor’s terms. Instead of reducing the number of people living on the streets, Sacramento’s city and county plans projected the number of people out on the streets would be the same in 2024 as it is now, according to data provided by Newsom’s administration. The governor did not specifically call out Sacramento but said many of the plans submitted were unacceptable. Steinberg said he believes his city was one of those unacceptable plans and said it has submitted a new one. “I think we are all on the same page he wants to see more aggressive numbers and we are going to provide those numbers and then the challenge is how do we exceed those numbers,” Steinberg said after Friday’s meeting. While some local leaders, such as Steinberg, called the meeting productive, others did not. “Without a clear comprehensive strategy and sustainable funding, we’ll keep spinning in circles, ending right back where we started or worse,” said Graham Knaus, President and CEO of the California State Association of Counties. “We can’t fix an ongoing crisis with one-time commitments. Progress requires clear state, county, and city roles aligned with sustainable, equitable funding. We need to get out of our own way and work together.” The meeting took place at the state’s Natural Resources Building in downtown Sacramento, where 30 officials attended in person, 40 officials attended virtually. Although California is projected to face multi-billion-dollar budget shortfalls over the next few years, Newsom’s office has said homelessness funding is firm. See Steinberg’s reaction in the video below | VIDEO BELOW | CA lawmakers approve mental health care plan for homeless

Local leaders from across California met with Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday, two weeks after he rejected their proposed plans to address homelessness and blocked $1 billion in state funds because, he said, the proposals weren’t aggressive enough.

“What I want to see is what everybody wants to see: the streets of California cleaned up,” Newsom said Friday.

Newsom’s office said the purpose of Friday’s meeting was to get state, city and county leaders on the same page about how the state moves forward to respond to its homelessness crisis and to get the money moving.

The governor’s office sent a letter to cities and counties, noting funds will start flowing as soon as next week, so long as they agree to set more aggressive homelessness response plans and follow state guidelines when applying for the next round of grants, which also totals $1 billion. Those applications are due in two weeks.

The money is part of the state’s Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention grant program, which provides money to every county and the 13 largest cities in the state, on the condition that each has an approved plan by Newsom’s administration that aims to reduce the number of people on the streets and boost permanent housing.

| Video Below | Gov. Newsom blocks funding and rejects homelessness plans from across the state

The funds represent the third round of grants from the program that was established in 2018. It’s part of a $15.3 billion, multi-year effort to get unhoused people off the streets, sidewalks, parks and underpasses in California.

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Newsom’s office said 21 of the 75 applicants had signed the agreement as of Friday afternoon. He said he did not think any jurisdiction would hold out on agreeing to the terms.

“I think everybody wanted an opportunity to dialogue,” Newsom said. “I think it’s also exciting there are a lot of new people, and I think we’re turning the page in big cities and large cities.”

Newsom’s office said funding would be at risk for jurisdictions who do not sign onto the agreement.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said Friday he was one of the 21 local leaders who agreed to the governor’s terms.

Instead of reducing the number of people living on the streets, Sacramento’s city and county plans projected the number of people out on the streets would be the same in 2024 as it is now, according to data provided by Newsom’s administration.

The governor did not specifically call out Sacramento but said many of the plans submitted were unacceptable. Steinberg said he believes his city was one of those unacceptable plans and said it has submitted a new one.

“I think we are all on the same page he wants to see more aggressive numbers and we are going to provide those numbers and then the challenge is how do we exceed those numbers,” Steinberg said after Friday’s meeting.

While some local leaders, such as Steinberg, called the meeting productive, others did not.

“Without a clear comprehensive strategy and sustainable funding, we’ll keep spinning in circles, ending right back where we started or worse,” said Graham Knaus, President and CEO of the California State Association of Counties. “We can’t fix an ongoing crisis with one-time commitments. Progress requires clear state, county, and city roles aligned with sustainable, equitable funding. We need to get out of our own way and work together.”

The meeting took place at the state’s Natural Resources Building in downtown Sacramento, where 30 officials attended in person, 40 officials attended virtually.

Although California is projected to face multi-billion-dollar budget shortfalls over the next few years, Newsom’s office has said homelessness funding is firm.

See Steinberg’s reaction in the video below

| VIDEO BELOW | CA lawmakers approve mental health care plan for homeless


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