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Newsom introduces $12 Billion in tackling homelessness crisis as part of $100 billion ‘California Comeback Plan’

Governor Gavin Newsom spoke Tuesday in San Diego County to highlight $12 billion in new investments tackling homelessness. This is part of the $100 billion 'California Comeback Plan.'

“We can solve homelessness once and for all,” said California Governor, Gavin Newsom. The Governor's plan is to expand on project homekey, formerly known as roomkey, along with other similar projects. These investments round up to nearly $9 billion for homeless housing and affordable apartments. The money goes towards things like hotel conversions, motel conversions, tiny home conversions, and modular home investments. The plan aims for at least 28,000 new beds and housing placements for those who are most in need.

There are many locations here in the Coachella Valley that provide services to the homeless community. “The pandemic really made it very difficult. Project roomkey took people off the streets so the stress was a little bit less for us,” said Arlene Rosenthal, the president of Well in the Desert. “You’re keeping the older man from being hit over the head with a baseball bat, you’re keeping women from being raped,” added Rosenthal about the necessity of creating housing for the homeless.

Under this plan, the state aims to end family homelessness within five years through a new $3.5 billion investment in homelessness prevention, rental support and new housing opportunities for people at risk of homelessness. The state is investing $1.85 billion in new housing for homeless families and $1.6 billion in rental support and homelessness prevention for families. “That includes prevention services, rapid rehousing, funding to support people to keep them in their homes as well as to quickly procure and develop new family focused units of housing,” commented Newsom.

Rosenthal said she sees a lot of families in need of housing here in the desert. "That money will be well spent if it’s spent on families,” said Rosenthal.

An additional $50 million will be poured into local governments to move people into safer, healthier, and more stable housing. “Local government, city council, should bring in a panel of people that well knows services that are rendered to homeless individuals,” said Rosenthal. She emphasized accountability and people who understand where the money needs to go to have a say in the community.

Newsom also focused on accountability. “We have no interest in just talking about how much we are spending, we care about outcomes,” said Newsom.

If you want to learn more about Well in the Desert and their services, visit their website. “Our homeless population comes from all walks of life, they’re not just drug addicts or alcoholics, they have stories,” said Rosenthal.

Monday, Newsom announced billions in stimulus checks for middle class families and billions in rent payments. Details of the $100 billion ‘California Comeback Plan’ as Newsom outlines economic recovery strategy.

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Taban Sharifi

Taban Sharifi is a Meteorologist and Reporter with KESQ News Channel 3, The Desert’s News & Weather Leader. Learn more about Taban here.

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