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California homelessness: Where are the state's billions going? Here's the new, best answer

Original post made on Feb 27, 2023

A new state report offers a bird-eye view of how much the state has spent to halt homelessness -- nearly $10 billion over three years.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, February 27, 2023, 9:13 AM

Comments (6)

Posted by SE Hinton
a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2023 at 10:48 am

SE Hinton is a registered user.

As a 4+ year volunteer working with foster youth, mostly teens (as a Court Appointed Child Advocate or CASA), I can say that many California state programs are made more difficult / "intractable" by being "disjointed — split among nine state agencies, hundreds of county and municipal governments, nonprofits and charitable organizations." For several years I have worked with a foster teen who moved "out of county," but who remains on record with Santa Clara County. I can't begin to describe, here, resulting inefficiencies as Santa Clara County social work (SW) staff now coordinate with staff in the other county - which can be anywhere in California. SW staff in the "new" county must come on board, sometimes doubling the number of people involved but not quality time with the youth. Available services change, e.g., whether or not transportation for medical or mental health visits exists, and the kinds of staff and monies change as well. Such programs - SW or homeless mitigation - might be more consistently run if staff were better able to focus on outcome and less on who-does-what-where.

Posted by efs
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 27, 2023 at 1:48 pm

efs is a registered user.

I appreciate that the Weekly offers important articles like this from CalMatters, a good source.

Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2023 at 2:33 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

"services to more than 571,000" ... mostly hygiene kits and useless referrals. Homelessness is big business. People with jobs mostly working from home, saying "NO" all day to people in need. There's a guy I used to see regularly at a certain fast food restaurant where I would buy him lunch. He wasn't a panhandler, in fact never asked for a dime. When I would see him sitting there I would ask which meal he wanted. Then, I always gave him the change with his meal, and he accepted it without saying anything. Sometimes all we can do is help the ones we see who we can be of assistance to. I haven't seen him since January. But I will bet he isn't housed. One other guy who was a regular had a dog, and would ask for a McDouble and feed half to his dog. That dog is the only thing he cares about. But he couldn't keep him, if he got housed. Most homeless people don't want the conditions that come with subsidized housing. Think about it, if you are on the upside of the economic scale, and somebody told YOU how to live or wanted to inspect your private space unannounced. Which is what the guy in the picture was doing. A search without a warrant. That's what they want to make homeless people go through, after getting housed. If you are free and over 21, you don't want to let somebody else make the rules. If you have a key, you make your own rules. If you can't behave, you'll get evicted. Homelessness is NOT always or even over half the time due to mental illness or substance abuse. It's all about the rent-gouging landlords. Think of our midtown burned out workers. Without income, they can't afford the rent. They could be on the streets by next week. Are you going to call them mentally ill drug addicts? Because that's what everyone assumes. The state is paying a LOT of people to sit at home in sweatpants playing with a smartphone instead of providing housing. Get those people out of the way and get people housed. It's not rocket science.

Posted by cmarg
a resident of University South
on Feb 27, 2023 at 6:12 pm

cmarg is a registered user.

Thank you for the article. I have heard homeless people share that shelters can be very scary for many people. They worry about their safety, someone stealing their things, and being sexually assaulted. The only organization I am aware of that seems to offer an ideal scenario is Hotel De Zink (part of Life Moves). It offers alternate locations through congregations in Palo Alto and surrounding neighborhoods. The clients may stay at Hotel de Zink for up to 90 days, which provides them with stability, safety, and a team of experienced staff working to help them become self-sufficient.

To me, this program is designed to help 'clients' get off the streets and ideally working and able to move into housing. According to a homeless person, one needs to show 3 months of full time working in order to get their own housing.

I pray more communities adopt something like Hotel de Zink. In my opinion, it is designed to help individuals to be successful. It is designed for those wanting to commit to getting housing, accepting help, following the rules, and has a limited time period.
My $0.02 for what it is worth!
Cecilia Willer

Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 28, 2023 at 1:23 am

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

Play X the rules? & still no housing. I work in a city not far from PA. Many unhoused park themselves at our doorstep. 1 sage individual has is master to a beautiful well, behaved domesticated 50 lb doggie. The unhoused individual & his dog r residents of the downtown area. Yes @MyFeelz, I agree make dwelling livable/doable for those emotional & physical comforts had from a loyal 4 legged friend. Yet our HUD public housing laws r outdated. A dog “was” a nucience, likely w/out shots, was not neutered, & perhaps tore up wal 2 wall shag carpeting. Or terrorized the neighbors. Times have changed. SPCA private donors, low cost/no cost shots, neutering. All allowing pets under 50 LBs 2 b emotional support 4 our most street centered. During War combat w
(Afghanistan) — my Bro served 2011, Canines crucial/critical to health of the platoon, added some relief/ equilibrium to “War is hell” reality.

Yet our unhoused legislative “model”, face a different uncertainty. A street war minus highly specialized “sanctioned” kill weapons & yet are still vulnerable to street carnage of unsafe, unhealthy, dangerous conditions — treated like lowly, horrid, savage, wild humans w/out purpose — add a pet & it’s worse 4 our un-homed residents.

Personally, in 1974, as a 9 year-old living in a state camp ground (Marin County). We had our family do in tow. A very good dog. Had 2 stay tied 2 the parking post. he stayed loyal, did not bark/attack. There is a article about us in the IJ. Family & dog? All love & support. . It’s cruel 2 speak of the # of “shelter beds”. Are these cots? Are these rooms or big gymnasiums? What is a “shelter bed?” It sound woeful & weary, in theory . Maybe it is private, secure, safe & good sustaining amenities. Yet “shelter bed” is like a hospital bed. No lock on the door. Shared rooms, nurses, all hours. I to nervous/insecure. Check SF’s Larkin. A Bell Weather of our 5th world economy. Creating a 3rd Wrld & real despair. Tragic corporate consequences

Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 28, 2023 at 1:46 am

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

@SEHinton (I devoured all the books as a teen). I was living it as a teen looking 4 a path 2 success, really & truly. Without pony boy etc.. the novels were boy centric, informative all the same. For me, it was super rough & dangerous for a girl of 15-17, unhoused in and around SF Suburbs, desperate 4 a bed & a meal.

I was much later recruited to be a CASA court appointed Social Advocate rep. They wanted me, yet I was not a “professional”. Like an attorney or a accountant . Nothing near that caliber. I chose to decline the volunteer position. Why? Because I felt the system worked against the child and as an advocate I was not stable enough in my own career to impact the life of a single child sieving the system.

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