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Tags: gavin newsom | california | homeless | state budget

People 'Fed Up,' Newsom Pledges $750 Million to Clear Homeless Encampments

By    |   Tuesday, 10 January 2023 07:19 PM EST

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he wants to dedicate $750 million of the 2023-24 budget to clearing the Golden State’s homeless encampments.

"We want to see accountability," Newsom said at a press conference on Monday. "People want to see these encampments cleaned up. They’re fed up. People agree — they want to see more accountability for dollars invested."

According to SFGate, that $750 million allocation would be distributed to local governments and is part of a broader $15.3 billion package Newsom wants to spend to address the problem of homelessness.

If Newsom’s proposal makes it into the final budget, municipalities tasked with clearing homeless encampments will likely encounter push back.

More than 100,000 people are currently living on California’s streets amid rising rents and a national shortage of affordable housing, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

Increasingly, homeless advocates are fighting back in court, as in the lawsuit filed last year when San Francisco’s unhoused population and the Coalition on Homelessness sued the city, claiming multiple constitutional rights violations during the encampment sweeps.

“You can be as tough as you want on people — that’s not going to magically create a house for them,” Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the coalition, told the Journal. “And they don’t have disappearing powers.”

The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $3,000, according to the Journal.

The Northern District of California ruled in favor of San Francisco’s homeless population in December, issuing a preliminary injunction against tent cleanups until the city has a sufficient number of shelter beds, according to SFGate.

Citing destruction of personal property and criminal penalties for being homeless without reasonable shelter alternatives, the court found “significant evidence” that San Francisco’s homeless have had their Fourth and Eighth Amendment rights consistently violated.

Despite the injunction, the coalition alleged the city was continuing to clear encampments, including conducting a sweep on the same day a massive winter storm hit.  

Newsom’s budget priorities are not ironclad, however. The California Legislature will determine a final budget and adopt it later this year, which may or may not include the $750 million the governor pledged to spend on clearing homeless encampments, according to SFGate.

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he wants to dedicate $750 million of the 2023-24 budget to clearing the Golden State's homeless encampments.
gavin newsom, california, homeless, state budget
Tuesday, 10 January 2023 07:19 PM
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