Newsom Urges Voters To Approve Billions for Homelessness, Mental Illness

Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a ballot measure Sunday that would fund housing for the mentally ill, the latest chapter in California’s half-century struggle against homelessness and behavioral health.

The measure would raise billions of dollars in bonds to build campus-like facilities where patients can walk from apartments to treatment centers and nearby lodges that also have programs for treating mental illness and substance abuse. The money will also be used to build permanent housing for the homeless with mental illness.

The plan marks a reversal of still-controversial reforms begun in the 1960s, when the government signed a law. Ronald Reagan’s attempts to uphold the civil rights of the mentally ill resulted in tens of thousands of mentally ill Californians being released without adequate support in the ensuing years.Meanwhile, homelessness is on the rise

break the past

Newsom’s proposal His announcement said that instead of rebuilding past mental institutions, various types of facilities would be created, including apartment complexes with on-site treatment facilities, “lodge environments” where residents would use outside services, and long-term support housing where residents would live in A life similar to normal life is lived here. The bond funds will also build housing specifically for veterans, who account for more than 10,000 of California’s homeless population, Newsom’s announcement said.

California fails to tackle widespread homelessness — amid coronavirus shutdown Steady growth from its 2020 level exceeds 161,000– already deemed 2018 united nations report Violation of international human rights law.

Newsom’s failure to address the issue in his first few years as governor formed the basis of rallying calls to remove him In the 2021 recall campaign. that was the same year California auditor slams The state has spent $13 billion in piecemeal and ineffective spending on homelessness over the past three years.

Public criticism of Newsom has focused on the impact of homeless encampments on California’s growing middle class. But experts have long recognized the intertwined relationship between mental health and housing.

Homelessness, mental health are intertwined

according to A 2021 Study, 21% of homeless people report serious mental illness, compared to 5% of the general U.S. population. At the same time, sleeping rough can exacerbate certain mental conditions, such as depression and anxiety, and make it harder for people to access treatment and support.

according to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban DevelopmentCalifornia has the highest rate of homelessness in the country, and in San Francisco alone, there are an estimated 8,000 homeless people.

For years, California has struggled to build more affordable housing, increase funding for mental health services and provide case management and support for people experiencing homelessness. Progress has been slow, however, and the problem continues to worsen.

Since taking office in 2019, Governor Newsom has made addressing homelessness a priority.He proposed a series of initiatives aimed at increasing housing and services for the homeless, including 2021 plan Spend $12 billion to address homelessness and mental health.

Newsom’s announcement Sunday won praise from San Francisco Board of Supervisors member Raphael Mandelman, who has pushed for better programs to treat the city’s mentally ill.

In a tweet on Sunday, Mandelman said: “Thank you Gavin Newsom for proposing an important step towards holding the nation more directly accountable for the humanitarian crisis of untreated mental illness and addiction taking place on our streets .”

Matt Smith can reach [email protected]

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