Governor Newsom Announces the Formation of the Homeless and Supportive Housing Advisory Task Force

Press Release

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New Task Force will be co-chaired by Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas

Announcement comes after the Governor’s May budget revision included $1 billion to fight California’s homelessness crisis

Governor also names Dr. Tom Insel as key advisor to help develop strategies around mental health issues

OAKLAND – Just days after Bay Area counties released their homeless point-in-time figures showing significant increases in their homeless populations, Governor Gavin Newsom announced today the formation of the Homeless and Supportive Housing Advisory Task Force and its co-chairs Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Earlier this month, the Governor released his May budget revision which included an unprecedented $1 billion to fight California’s homelessness crisis. The budget would increase emergency aid for local jurisdictions, make money available to cities and counties directly and fund permanent supportive housing or innovative approaches like motel and hotel conversions.

“No Californian can say homelessness is someone else’s problem – it affects us all,” said Governor Newsom. “Homelessness is a matter of statewide concern, but solutions will come from the local level. Mayors, county supervisors and city councils around the state are working hard to reduce homelessness and its underlying causes. We’ll be watching these local and regional solutions closely, to lend a hand and help them scale.”

The Governor announced the new Task Force after touring a hotel conversion site in downtown Oakland that is now the Henry Robinson Multi-Service Center transitional housing facility. Standing alongside Mayor Steinberg, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly, the Governor met with formerly homeless individuals and underscored the importance of state-local partnerships to combat homelessness.

“The growing problem of homelessness is nothing less than a humanitarian, public health, safety and economic crisis facing California,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “I’m looking forward to working closely with Supervisor Ridley-Thomas and the administration of Gov. Newsom to develop comprehensive recommendations for how we can get thousands of people off the streets and into housing, and also help prevent thousands more from slipping into homelessness.”

The Homeless and Supportive Housing Advisory Task Force will meet a number of times throughout the year in cities and counties around the state to observe best practices firsthand and receive input from governments and constituents statewide to propose solutions to address the homelessness epidemic. The Governor will announce additional members of the Task Force and future meeting dates and locations in the coming weeks.

“I look forward to partnering with California Governor Gavin Newsom, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, and other members of this Task Force to ensure that the State of California steps up its efforts in confronting the defining civic and moral crises of our time,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “It is time for all levels of government to intensify our efforts, and take urgent and swift action to combat homelessness.”

The Governor also named psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. Tom Insel as a key advisor providing insight in developing strategies to address mental health issues. Dr. Insel is a nationally recognized leader in the science of mental health and evidence-based practices to assist people suffering from various conditions. Working with Secretary Ghaly, Dr. Insel will inform the state’s work as California builds the mental health system of tomorrow, serving people whether they are living in the community, on the streets or if they are in jails, schools or shelters.

Dr. Insel served as director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) committed to research on mental disorders. Prior to serving as NIMH director, Dr. Insel was a professor of psychiatry at Emory University, where he was founding director of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience in Atlanta. Dr. Insel led the Mental Health Team at Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences) in South San Francisco and, most recently, has served as co-founder and president of Mindstrong Health. Dr. Insel is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Homelessness is a matter of statewide concern most efficiently and effectively addressed at the local level through deep regional collaboration. The Task Force will consult with local and regional governments around the state to assess best practices and strategies to increase the production of Navigation Centers, positive housing exits and information sharing. The Task Force should guide local governments as they develop joint regional plans to address homelessness.

The Task Force will deliver at least one annual report to the Governor on the work it performed to guide the creation of joint regional plans to address homelessness, including highlighting best practices and model programs at the local level.


11 COMMENTS

  1. Homelessness does affect us all, and it is a statewide concern. It will only get worse. Sadly, a lot of people aren’t cut out to make it in society. Lack of skills or lack of desire. Or both. There will always be people who fall through the cracks. You have a better chance winning the lotto than expecting everyone to be responsible and stable. In CA it’s even worse because of the cost of living. The truth hurts.

  2. And because this state offers the resources and services it does people come here from all over the country.. homeless. Other states send them here! Specifically to the Bay Area because of services. You can’t force anyone to get clean, go to treatment or take meds. We’ll see how this all works out…..praying there is accountability on all parts. Because if not it will only get worse

    • Ms Kris, you can bet it’s going to get worse. These politicians in California are inviting anybody and everybody to come and get free stuff. Illegals, drug dealers, homeless, etc. and guess what? You and me will go to work and pay for it in higher taxes until it collapses on itself. As long as Californians vote in people like Newsom, Desaulnier, Pelosi, and few others, they will spend your money to buy freeloader votes. Don’t misunderstand me about homeless. Some are in real need and deserve the help. However, Newsom is making it a free for all. Mark my words that the rainy day and surplus money will be frivolously pissed away. Then it’s time to take more from the middle classes wallets to make up for the poor decisions of the radical socialist far left politicians.

  3. My relatives living in other states told me they gladly pay for one-way transportation for their homeless to head for California and out of their hair. Of course, there are some homeless in their states, but not as many as we now have here and more are on the way.

  4. In all fairness, California busses homeless people out to other states too. Every state does it. But it is more of a problem here.

  5. The problem also in California is there are to many liberals voting in these jack asses like Newsome its mind blowing how high the cost of living in California is and these ignorant politicians spend like there is a never ending supply of money

  6. How many rental homes and apartments would be available in California without 6-10 million illegal aliens living here? Newsom seems to be doing everything he can think of to attract even more of them.

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