The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)has released its annual Homelessness Assessment Report which once again shows how poorly California is handling the homelessness crisis under one-party rule.
California accounts for half of all unsheltered people in the country, one third of the nation’s total homeless population, and had the largest increase in the number of homeless in the country from 2020-2022.
“While sad but not shocking, this report underscores how dire the homelessness crisis is in this state,” Senate Minority Leader-elect Brian W. Jones (R-Santee) said. “It’s inhumane and the status quo is clearly not working.”
Earlier this year, Legislative Republicans introduced a robust package of bills which included sensible reforms to address this crisis. In the new Legislative Session, Leader-elect Jones and all members of the California Senate Republican Caucus have introduced Senate Bill 31, which will help compassionately clear encampments near sensitive areas.
“It’s time for lawmakers to tackle this crisis with reforms that work,” Jones said. “We cannot simply continue allowing people to live in our parks and libraries or in front of schools and day care centers. Our measure will help end public camping in these areas while also compassionately assist the homeless to get treatment for their physical and mental health needs and find a more suitable place to stay.”
Senate Bill 31 will do the following:
- Prohibit encampments near sensitive community areas of schools, parks, libraries, and day care centers. This will help protect our most vulnerable population: our children;
- Require a 72-hour warning before an encampment sweep. This will give homeless individuals a chance to find alternatives and services before their encampment is cleared; and
- Require enforcement officers to provide information about sleeping alternatives, homeless and mental health services, and/or homeless shelters in the area. This will help connect homeless individuals to desperately needed services as encampments are compassionately cleared.