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Weighing efficacy, oversight of $2-billion aid proposed for California homeless

A homeless man in the skid row section of Los Angeles, California.
A homeless man in the skid row section of Los Angeles, California.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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Speaking from Skid Row in LA Monday, members of the California State Senate proposed spending more than $2 billion dollars to prevent and address homelessness across the state.

“This bipartisan legislative package will help secure progress in tackling homelessness and provide a key to health and hope for many Californians who have no place to go.” said Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).

The legislative package includes a $2-billion bond to construct permanent housing for chronically homeless persons with mental illness; short-term housing in the meanwhile; and an increase in income support for the aged, blind, and disabled poor who cannot work. The senators emphasized that unsheltered individuals cost too much for taxpayers due to emergency room visits, hospital stays, law enforcement, and other social services.

To what degree would this proposal alleviate California's homeless problem? What oversight would be necessary to ensure success of the package? Is this the best solution to the growing problem of homelessness in LA and beyond?


Holly Mitchell, California Democratic Senator, Mitchell’s district includes Culver City and Ladera Heights

Kevin Corinth, Research fellow in economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he focuses on homelessness and the programs and policies put in place to assist the homeless