California State Association of Counties Forms Homelessness Action Team
August 20, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sara Floor, 916.926.8769, firstname.lastname@example.org
SACRAMENTO – Harnessing nearly four years of research and successful advocacy, the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) announces its Homelessness Action Team to serve as a working group to complement the efforts of Governor Newsom’s Administration and fill any gaps as a county-level platform for engaging with the Governor’s Statewide Homeless and Supportive Housing Advisory Task Force.
Chaired by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the CSAC Homelessness Action Team will include Orange County Supervisor and CSAC First Vice President Lisa Bartlett, and Kern County Supervisor and CSAC Immediate Past President Leticia Perez as Vice Chairs, as well as:
- Humboldt County Supervisor and CSAC President Virginia Bass,
- Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson,
- Inyo County Supervisor Jeff Griffiths,
- Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo,
- San Bernardino County Supervisor Josie Gonzales, and
- Yolo County Supervisor Oscar Villegas.
“Homelessness is California’s defining crisis and counties are the front line providers of innovative community services addressing the issue. Homelessness knows no boundaries and progress can only occur through collaboration,” said CSAC President Bass. “Collective action at the state, county and community level is necessary to turn the tide—re-house displaced residents, provide critical support services, and prevent individuals and families from experiencing homelessness in the future. The CSAC Action Team is specifically tasked with optimizing this collective action.”
“I look forward to working closely with my fellow Supervisors from across California to address what I consider the moral crisis of our time,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said. “Our County governments are crucial to providing safety net services for the most vulnerable, and it’s important that we stand together and make our voices heard as the Governor works to address homelessness statewide.”
The challenge, however, is daunting. Despite increased local investments in recent years to address homelessness, many California counties saw significant increases in the 2019 Point in Time Homelessness counts. Thankfully, the 2019-20 state budget includes an additional $1 billion investment to address homelessness, which unlike last year, includes $175 million in direct funding to counties. Counties will work to capitalize on this investment by leveraging existing research and best practices to optimize new learnings gained through Governor Newsom’s Task Force.
The Proposition 1 housing bond and a $1.75 billion one-time housing investment in the 2019-20 state budget should also help stabilize and secure low income housing funding. An additional 2019-20 budget investment of nearly $160 million will support county-based wrap-around services like Whole Person Care pilot programs, the Bringing Families Home Program and the CalWORKs Homeless Assistance Program should also help bring relief to communities, counties and Californians in crisis.
“This is not an issue confined to urban centers or specific geographic regions. Homelessness impacts every California County, and every county differently,” said Supervisor Bartlett. “CSAC’s Homelessness Action Team is designed to facilitate coordination and cooperation between counties, cities and the state.”
“We appreciate Governor Newsom’s dedication to addressing the homelessness issue in California and recognizing the unique and direct role of Counties,” said Supervisor Perez. “As providers of specialized services and safe shelter for community members, California’s Counties are critically invested in exploring how solutions at the local level can benefit the state at large.”
Governor Newsom’s Task Force is charged with meeting throughout the year in cities and counties around the state to observe best practices firsthand and receive input from governments and constituents statewide to propose solutions to address the homelessness epidemic.
“The CSAC Homelessness Action Team will be essential to ensure a coordinated county message on fighting homelessness, address county best practices and programs, and emphasize the vital role that counties play in service delivery to those who are experiencing homelessness,” said CSAC Executive Director Graham Knaus. “By working in tandem with Governor Newsom’s Task Force we can ensure collective action that addresses this critical issue head on.”
California State Association of Counties (CSAC) is the voice of California’s 58 counties at the state and federal level.
# # #