By: Evelyn Silva Rosales
With the ongoing election, Governor Newsom’s opponents have brought attention to the frustration many voters feel about his policy to tackle homelessness in California. Citizens have reported that they are skeptical he “has made any significant progress to alleviate the state’s homelessness crisis, or at least prevented it from getting worse” (Willon). This has become a topic of conversation that could impact the results of the election due to criticism of Newsom’s homelessness policies.
Other candidates have judged the allocation of money regarding his policies and believe that although the funding has allowed to establish temporary shelters, it does not tackle mental health or drug addiction. Reducing the number of individuals that experience homelessness is not solely about providing a temporary solution, but about addressing aspects that lead to homelessness. Two years ago, Newsom stated that the issue of homelessness would be “the top priority of his administration;” his efforts have allowed 58,000 individuals to be placed in shelters since the outbreak of the pandemic (Willon).
In the last month, Governor Newsom proposed the establishment of care courts, which could provide court-ordered mental illness and addiction treatment for the severely afflicted (Willon). If it were put into place, about 7,000 to 12,000 individuals could benefit from this proposal. Although there are controversial opinions about this topic, the issue of homelessness has been targeted as one of Newsom’s greatest political vulnerabilities. However, the results of implementing policies cannot be seen within the span of two years. Homelessness is a result of inadequate policy decisions that were established throughout the last decades, and it will take decades to completely eradicate it.