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Governor's $1.4B Homelessness Plan Lacks A 'Clear Strategy,' Legislative Analyst Says

A homeless man sleeps on a bus bench on a hot day in downtown Los Angeles. (Chava Sanchez/ LAist)
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A new report pulls the rug out from under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to fight homelessness.

Newsom carved out more than $1.4 billion in his proposed budget last month to go towards homeless services — a lot of money with a lot of promise behind it.

But in its report, the state Legislative Analyst's Office says the Governor’s plan doesn't present a “clear strategy,” and that it was less likely to have a "meaningful, ongoing impact" on the problem.

“This [plan] kind of represents a series of investments the state government has done as one-time measures,” Gary Painter, director of the Homelessness Policy Research Institute at USC, tells KPCC’s Take Two. “The hope for many lawmakers that I’ve spoken to is that they will be able to craft a long-term strategy, but they recognize that it’s going to take some time to develop such a strategy.”

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With the homelessness crisis swelling with each day, however, the governor’s office says their plan is aggressive enough for the short-term.

"We strongly disagree with the assertion that emergency funding to fight homelessness should be spread thinly, with less accountability and in keeping with business as usual,” Newsom press secretary Jesse Melgar said in a statement. “The Governor's proposal aims to use the new fund as a catalyst for wraparound services to get people off the street and calls on locals to do the same."

The first in-depth hearing by state lawmakers on Newsom’s proposal kicks off tomorrow in San Francisco.