Gov. Newsom faces backlash for calling California a 'national model' in fighting homelessness

Critics slam Newsom's $3.3 billion fund announcement amid California's staggering homeless population

Gov. Newsom faces backlash for calling California a 'national model' in fighting homelessness
AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia
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California's Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom has come under fire after claiming that his state is the "national model" for addressing homelessness.

During the announcement of a $3.3 billion fund to tackle the issue on Tuesday, Newsom highlighted a decline in veteran homelessness in California. However, critics were quick to point out that half of the country's homeless population lives in the state, the Daily Wire reported.

“The state of California saw a decline in veteran’s homelessness,” said Newsom, adding that “we have a national model.”

Yet according to a 2023 federal report, California is home to 28% of the nation's homeless population, with roughly half of the country's unsheltered individuals residing in the state. Los Angeles alone has more homeless people than any other U.S. city, with a staggering 65,111 individuals, a 9% increase from the previous year. California's unsheltered homeless population of 123,000 is eight times higher than that of Florida, which has just 15,000.

In March, California narrowly passed Newsom's $6.4 billion Proposition 1, which includes a bond to build treatment facilities and permanent supportive housing for people with mental health and addiction challenges.

“What Proposition 1 did is that it reinforced that model, provided more resources to advance that model, and we’re very excited to get those dollars to work,” Newsom stated.

The proposition also requires counties to spend 30% of the revenue from a longstanding tax on personal incomes over $1 million on housing instead of other services. Opponents argued that the proposition was too costly and could jeopardize funding for mental health services and small agencies.

Newsom's claims of California being a "national model" were met with widespread criticism on social media. Users mocked the governor, with comments suggesting that the model involved not knowing where the money went and that California should serve as a warning to other states on how not to handle homelessness. Some even accused the crisis of making several nonprofit executives millionaires.

Rep. Kevin Kiley (R-CA) took to X to express his thoughts, simply stating, "This is the height of delusion."

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  • By David Menzies

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