SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a billion-dollar solution on Wednesday to solve the spiraling homeless crisis.
The plan includes using vacant state land to house those living on the streets.
Preston Collins is one of the thousands of people living on Sacramento streets.
“There’s a lot of homeless people out here,” Preston said. “You have to have a strong will to be out here.”
Now Governor Newsom is proposing a billion-dollar plan to help get people like Preston into safe shelters.
“We are thrilled to see the governor make such a significant investment,” Michelle Doty Cabrera, Executive Director of the County Behavioral Health Director’s Association, said.
The effort is being praised by those who get homeless people and those with mental health issues off the streets.
“The governor’s executive order speaks to the fact that we are in a homelessness crisis and he is appropriately trying to deploy all the state’s resources to help deal with that crisis,” Doty Cabrera said.
One part of the plan calls to use trailers and modular tents normally used by the state’s disaster medical teams. Those could be placed in fairgrounds or on excess state property.
Funding could also go towards paying the rent of people who are homeless and towards building new housing.
“They got a lotta places in Sacramento they could build. Places for homeless people. They could build a whole complex, period. A big complex or something. We could hold 1,000 people, because there’s more than 1,000 people out here that’s homeless,” Preston said.
Preston’s already set up camp in front of a vacant property owned by Caltrans. It’s a location the city of Sacramento plans on putting a pop-up shelter this spring, but he’s skeptical of the money ever reaching people like him who need it the most.
“They said that money last time, remember, we never seen none of it,” Preston said. “Other organizations gave us money, I ain’t seen a dime of it.”
Those working to solve homelessness hope these temporary measures lead to long-term solutions.
“We think it’s a great start, we think we could absolutely always do more the scale of the problem in California is pretty large”
As for the source of this proposed solution, the billion dollars is expected to come from the state’s current budget surplus.