CSAC Bulletin Article

Counties Respond to Homelessness State of the State Address

February 20, 2020

In a departure from the norm, California’s State of the State address focused almost entirely on a single issue, homelessness. Governor Gavin Newsom spoke for 40 minutes, outlining a five-point plan for California to tackle the “disgrace” of homelessness in the state. The plan calls for “quickly and humanely” reducing street homelessness; getting the mentally ill into treatment; providing stable funding; addressing affordable housing; and enacting “real accountability and consequences.”

Key points of county interest addressed as part of the plan include leveraging MediCal, reforming the Mental Health Services Act, lowering the thresholds for conservatorships and increasing the housing pool through gap financing, leveraging vacant units and shoring up Board and Care facilities.

CSAC President and Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett and Executive Director Graham Knaus issued a joint response pledging County cooperation with Governor Newsom, the Legislature and partners at every level to make significant improvements in homelessness through shared responsibilities and collaboration. Access a transcript of the Governor’s remarks here and CSAC’s full response here.

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