By Kerry Jackson & Wayne Winegarden
Gov. Gavin Newsom kicked off his latest State of the State tour with a focus on homelessness. We wish his upbeat attitude inspired us, but it’s hard to have faith. In 2004, as mayor of San Francisco, he promised that he would end the city’s chronic homelessness in 10 years. As Governor, his proposals have been slight variations of his same failed approach as mayor. The results have not been any different.
Central to his agenda is an initiative to build 1,200 small homes around the state to temporarily shelter the homeless. The plan is to locate 500 in Los Angeles, 350 in Sacramento, 200 in San Jose and 150 in San Diego by this fall. We share the governor’s hope that these units will help address the heart-breaking conditions seen in homeless encampments. But hope is not a plan.
The governor also spoke at some length about spending. He noted that as recently as five years ago, the state’s spending commitment on homelessness was roughly $500 million, but now, at nearly $10 billion over 3 years, spending is several magnitudes higher.