Contra Costa Co. Tackles Rise in Homeless Population With Help From Gov. Newsom

As the Bay Area deals with a spike in homeless, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that help is on the way.

With a budget of nearly $1 billion, Newsom announced in Oakland that he is forming a special task force to help cities and counties with a growing population of homelessness.

For one county in the Bay Area, the numbers of those who are homeless are higher than ever.

"It’s not fun I have to find a place to sleep at night and it’s no fun," said homeless senior Judy Dodge. I have to sleep sometimes on the concrete." 

Dodge, 77 is just one of hundreds grappling with homelessness in Contra Costa County.

The county has seen a 43 percent increase of people lacking permanent homes since 2017, the county’s annual homeless count found.

"It’s very hard and I’m old and I probably shouldn’t be out here," said Dodge.

Those who work with the homeless said there is not enough low-income housing or shelters.

"I don’t think anybody has seen homelessness skyrocket at the rate at which it’s been happening in the last couple of years," Jaime Jenett from the Contra Costa Health Services.

The homeless count found that 2,300 people lack permanent housing.

Dodge hopes the task force implemented by governor Newsom can bring some relief to people in her situation. 

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