California mayors must improve plans to combat homelessness –

(NewsNation) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom is withholding money to combat homelessness unless local mayors come up with better plans.

The homeless population in California increased by around 22,000 during the pandemic. Newsom said local authorities would have to come up with better plans to combat homelessness to get their share of a special $1 billion grant to combat the problem.

Newsom announced two weeks ago that he would withhold $1 billion in spending until cities and counties come up with stronger plans, calling the plans put forward “simply unacceptable” as they would collectively reduce the state’s homeless population by just 2%. for the next four years.

California’s homeless population is estimated to be around 161,000, though that number is likely too low. Homelessness is calculated using what is called a point in time, which requires volunteers to go out and count people. Those counts are often lower than reality.

California’s homeless crisis is one of the worst in the country. Of the top 10 cities with the largest homeless populations, six are in California: Los Angeles, San Jose, San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland and Santa Ana.

Newsom’s efforts to combat homelessness have included things like turning motels into housing and setting up special courts for people with serious mental health problems.

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