News Release: Mayors Urge Legislature to Commit to Ongoing Funding to Address Homelessness

Mar. 6, 2020


Mayors of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland and San José urge the state legislature to create an ongoing funding source to support local jurisdictions in their efforts to address the homelessness crisis


San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and San José Mayor Sam Liccardo today called upon the State Legislature to provide ongoing funding to communities and local jurisdictions across California to address homelessness. Since taking office in July 2018, Mayor Breed has championed the creation of an ongoing state funding source to address the homelessness crisis in San Francisco.


“I am grateful to our state partners for their leadership in dedicating new state resources over the past two budget cycles. Cities and counties cannot address this challenge alone,” said Mayor Breed. “Ongoing funding is necessary to make a meaningful impact in the lives of people suffering on our streets, and every California community needs the resources and authority to direct those investments toward local solutions. I am glad that the Governor agrees that lasting solutions will require lasting investments, and I’m hopeful the state legislature will allocate $2 billion for a continuous appropriation to address homelessness across the state.”


“In Los Angeles, we are mobilizing every resource to confront the homelessness and housing crisis and have built a coalition that is successfully getting folks off the streets and into housing,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Cities and counties can’t do this alone, and I’m proud to join local leaders from across state — as well as our partners in the legislature and Governor Newsom — in calling for California to finally make a permanent investment in homelessness solutions.”


“Ending homelessness in Oakland, and every other city in California, is our shared priority,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “$2 billion in funding will create the kind of sustained and significant resources we need to address the immediate crisis right now, as well as change larger systems that can lead to ending homelessness once and for all.”


“We must treat homelessness like the crisis it is,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo. “That’s why I support significant ongoing resources—together in partnership with the State, we can adequately work to end homelessness. The predictable funding will bring desperately needed rapid housing solutions to our homeless residents.”


For the last two years, California has made its largest one-time investments in addressing homelessness. Two state programs, the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) and the Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) have allocated $1.15 billion in flexible funds to local jurisdictions to address the crisis in their communities. These investments are already delivering housing and services to communities across California, including in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Governor Newsom’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2020-21 includes a third round of one-time funds.


In San Francisco, these funds will create over 750 new shelter beds, including the newly opened 200-bed Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center. HEAP funds are also being used to launch the Rising Up Campaign, a public-private partnership to reducing youth homelessness by 50% by 2023. $9 million in HEAP funding is providing rapid rehousing subsidies for youth in Rising Up. This investment is helping the City leverage an additional $26 million in philanthropic support to house 500 homeless Transitional Age Youth (TAY) and prevent an additional 450 TAY from entering homelessness.


However, without a state commitment to ongoing funding, local jurisdictions will struggle to keep these projects open and invest in the long-term, evidence-based solutions that are necessary to end homelessness. For example, additional units of Permanent Supportive Housing are a key part of the City’s efforts to help people out of homelessness and into housing, and require a stable, predictable source of funding.


Additionally, Mayors Breed, Garcetti, Schaaf, and Liccardo called for any state funding for homelessness to be distributed in a way that supports their strategic efforts and the critical work they are doing to make progress on their citywide goals.


According to the 2019 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are over 151,000 Californians experiencing homelessness on any given night. Homelessness in California has increased by over 16% between 2018 and 2019.


Beyond the numbers, this crisis impacts every aspect of our community; from the over 8,000 San Franciscans who do not have a place to go home to; to the working family one emergency away from homelessness; to residents who witness human suffering on our streets and wish they could do more; to the businesses impacted by encampments. The mayors are committed to working with their state partners to address homelessness and do better for everyone in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, San José, and throughout California.

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