Column: Newsom rejects every local homeless plan in state, demanding more ambition from feds
Gov. Jerry Brown’s “Homeless Action Plan” is out this week. It lays out a comprehensive plan for housing local homeless in California, including a six-year-long strategy.
The state says it is aiming to help about 15,000 homeless Californians by 2020. But Newsom, who in the past has repeatedly called for the state to give homeless money to cities, has criticized the plan and suggested it does not go far enough.
The governor says he is not against the idea, but he wants a plan that includes more than just housing.
“They’ve got to figure out how to get people off the streets,” Brown told reporters Tuesday. “How are they going to do that?”
Newsom, who has been mayor of San Francisco for more than 30 years, rejects every local homeless plan in the state, arguing that it does not go far enough with plans to build more housing or better services.
He said the plan was a one-time effort to give money to cities and called for more effort and more money. He has repeatedly suggested the best way to fight the problem is to give more money to state and local elected officials and private providers so they can do more.
“This is a plan, and I’m an optimist. I believe we can do it,” Newsom said. “We can do it better … It is going to require more money. We can do it better. The first step is having a plan.”
It is an unusual spat for Newsom, who has been in office for the past 11 months. He has faced criticism for his management of the homeless situation in San Francisco, but he hasn’t faced any real pushback on the homeless issue in the last year. After spending decades fighting the war on drugs, he’s now also seen another battle of his own.
Brown’s office says Newsom has only been critical of his homeless proposal, not an ally. San Francisco has been the most vocal advocate of how the state should fund the effort to help homeless people and has been on a long-running fight with the city’s Department of Public