Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - NEWS RELEASE
San Diego – As part of his ongoing efforts to reduce homelessness in San Diego, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer today joined the mayors from California’s other 10 largest cities to lobby at the state Capitol for AB 3171, which would allocate $1.5 billion from the state budget to cities addressing the growing homelessness crisis in California.
“Homelessness has reached crisis levels across California so it only makes sense for state leaders to team up with cities to fix it,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “This bill will help cities that are investing in effective homeless and housing solutions that get people back on their feet. Solving this problem means we have to do things differently, so I'm proud to join this bipartisan coalition to call for change.”
California’s homeless population now stands at 134,278 – an increase of 16 percent from 2015. Cities across the state are struggling to provide shelter and services with money from their own general funds and voter-approved ballot measures, but those aren’t enough.
AB 3171 would support long-term solutions to homelessness, such as permanent housing and rental assistance. It would also immediately provide for emergency measures, including triage shelters and navigation centers with wrap-around services. By leveraging local matching funds, the legislation would result in $3 billion in funding statewide.
During his visit, Mayor Faulconer and the other mayors are scheduled to meet with Governor Jerry Brown, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senate Speaker Pro Tem Toni Atkins and other legislative leaders.
“Tens of thousands of people are living on the streets in California cities, creating a humanitarian and public safety crisis that shocks the conscience and diminishes cities' economic vitality,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, chairman of the Big 11 group. “While the state has taken some steps to help, cities still lack the resources to make a demonstrable difference.”
AB 3171 is scheduled for its first legislative hearing before the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee on April 25. The bill is authored by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) is principal co-author.
“Homelessness in California has reached crisis levels,” Ting said. “A partnership with cities is critical if we are going to get people into supportive and transitional housing as quickly as possible.”
Already, the City of San Diego has taken several actions to tackle homelessness at the local level, including:
- Helping more than 1,000 homeless veterans transition to permanent housing through the “Housing Our Heroes” campaign – a partnership with the San Diego Housing Commission.
- Opening three new Bridge Shelters with a total of 700 beds and supportive services, including job training, mental health and substance abuse counseling, health care and housing navigators to assist individuals with finding a place to live.
- Expanding a Safe Parking program, providing individuals living in their cars a safe place to park at night, with supportive services.
- Opening a Transitional Camp Area that helped 24 families with 57 children move into permanent homes before the camp closed in December.
- Moving forward with plans to open a Housing Navigation Center – a one-stop shop where homeless individuals can be connected to the most appropriate supportive services and housing solutions based on their specific circumstances.
- Approving plans to open a Transitional Storage Facility where homeless individuals can keep their belongings while they access services, look for a permanent home, go to work, to school or to job interviews.
- Increasing waste abatement and sanitation efforts downtown, in the riverbeds and in communities most impacted by homelessness.
Here’s what other California mayors are saying about the impact of homelessness on their communities and the need for AB 3171:
“Cities are on the front lines in the fight against homelessness, and Los Angeles is already investing billions of dollars to get people off the streets,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “But we can’t do it alone — AB 3171 would give us the state funding we need to get all of our unsheltered into homes as soon as possible.”
“Homelessness, poverty and addiction are issues that do not stop at city limits or town boundaries,” said San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell. “These are difficulties facing municipalities across California — we need funding from the state to help complement the initiatives we are leading at the local level. Homelessness is the great challenge of our time, but by working together, we can make real, lasting change for Californians everywhere.”
CONTACT: Greg Block at 619-227-3752 or [email protected]