Bay Area Mayors to Weigh In on Governor's $750M Plan to Fight Homelessness

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Mayors for the Bay Area's largest cities Thursday are set to weigh in on Gov. Gavin Newsom's $750 million plan to address homelessness statewide, and the main point of contention is the manner in which the funds would be distributed.

Newsom proposes pushing the funds out through regional administrators chosen by the state. That part of the plan has been criticized by the state's Legislative Analyst's Office, which said the plan "falls short of articulating a clear strategy for curbing homelessness in California" by shifting decision-making authority away from local governments that have historically handled the bulk of homeless services in the state.

In San Jose, Mayor Sam Liccardo has championed motel conversions, tiny homes and housing veterans and students. San Francisco Mayor London Breed pushed homeless navigation centers, worked to create conservatorship legislation to help treat homeless people with mental illness and addiction and secured funding fo homeless adults with disabilities. In Oakland, Mayor Libby Schaaf says more than 4,000 residents were able to stay in their homes because of the Keep Oakland Housed program. Schaaf says more than 900 people went from homeless to housed in the past year, and the city doubled its shelter capacity.

California has the nation's largest homeless population, and most of them are unsheltered. Based on the latest homeless counts, there are more than 8,000 in Alameda County, 9,700 in Santa Clara County, 8,000 in San Francisco County, 2,300 in Contra Costa County and 1,500 in San Mateo County.

The budget subcommittee meeting is slated for 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

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