Home>Articles>Gov. Newsom Shirks Blame for Increasing Homelessness in Golden State

Homeless Camping on Dirt Road to Gully Camp/I-5 S. Can be seen from I-5. (Photo: Art Taylor for California Globe)

Gov. Newsom Shirks Blame for Increasing Homelessness in Golden State

The Sacramento City Council gave over a publicly owned, publicly funded city park/marina to hundreds of homeless without a vote

By Katy Grimes, November 30, 2022 3:46 pm

Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he was convening “local leaders to discuss their plans to tackle the homelessness crisis and identify new strategies and opportunities to more ambitiously address street encampments across the state.”

What this means is he is preparing to shift the blame of the state’s increasing homeless to these “local leaders.”

Newsom announced the state will hold back providing the remaining third round of Homelessness Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) grants for “only reducing statewide unsheltered homelessness by 2% by 2024.”

Newsom blames local leaders for this deficient result.

Up to this point, Newsom’s, as well as nearly every big city Mayor in the states’ focus has solely been on housing for the homeless, which does not solve the core issues of drug-addicted, mentally-ill homeless vagrants, and why they ended up on the streets.

There is plenty of blame to go around, but rather than “passing the buck,” which means passing the responsibility on to someone else, it is Governor Newsom’s responsibility to lead, which he has failed to do. “The Buck Stops Here” was President Harry Truman’s way of saying “the decision has to be made” by him.

Newsom will be handing out more funding, not having learned that it is the absurdly excessive funding which attracts the homeless (and bureaucrats) like stray cats, because of how he and local leaders spend it – not on treatment, recovery and rehabilitation for the drug-addicted mentally-ill homeless transients, but on building homes and expanding local government with “programs.” These “programs” are unaccountable by design. They just spend money and bureaucrats claim they are doing something about the homelessness.

For the governor who claims he is not running against Joe Biden for President in 2024, Newsom sure appears to be trying to clean up his record and image.

This is what Newsom says about more “Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention” homeless funding:

The third round of HHAP grants provides a share of $1 billion to every county, Continuum of Care, and the 13 largest cities in the state, on the condition that each local government has a plan approved by the state that reduces the number of unsheltered homeless individuals and increases permanent housing. The state has so far provided over $1.5 billion of flexible emergency aid to address homelessness through the Homeless Emergency Aid Program and the first two rounds of HHAP funding.

Governor Newsom claims programs like Homekey and Project Roomkey are “groundbreaking national models” for “getting people off the streets faster than ever before and at a fraction of the usual cost.” That’s a lot of BS in one sentence. Project Roomkey, a hotel service for homeless, cost more than $250 per night in many California cities. Even Motel 6 in San Francisco advertises $100 per night rooms. Motel 6 in downtown Sacramento advertises a $59 per night rate.

What is this Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention? It is a $2 Billion ($2,000,000,000) spending program with not much to show for it – except more homeless in California:

HHAP Round 1 is a $650 million grant

HHAP Round 2 is a $300 million grant

HHAP Round 3 is a $1 billion grant

Here is the detail of the spending program:

Fortunately, the HHAP provides HHAP-3 Talking Points for Government Officials, one of which exposes the entire scheme:

  • “Outcome goals should be ambitious and based on the full landscape of resources and investments in the homeless response system;” and
  • “The State has provided every community with baseline data points from HDIS data to help in setting these goals. Communities must use this data for their goal setting.”

Do you see what the state (Newsom administration) did? They provide the funding and the guidelines for which all of it is to be spent.

Sacramento Homeless Model

Last April, the Globe reported, “The City of Sacramento is spending more than $44 million to provide eight homeless shelters and camping options, most not yet built or ready, and three Project Homekey motel conversions. According to city officials, “most of that comes from state and federal grants that are not certain year to year.”

In Sacramento, millions and millions of public dollars have been spent, only to have facilitated an increase in the homeless population living on the streets, in parks and along Sacramento’s two major rivers.

Conex Box with Miller Park, Marina sign. (Photo: Art Taylor for California Globe)

One of the eight proposed and existing homeless sites we reported on in April was the “Miller Park Safe Ground,” and Sacramento Marina on the Sacramento River.

This is what the Miller Park and Marina used to look like:

Regional Miller Park and Marina. (Photo: cityofsacramento.org)

The City of Sacramento reports the 40.44 acre Miller Park includes the following amenities:

  • Dock
  • Picnic Areas
  • River Access

This is Miller Park and Marina today:

Tent Camping at Entrance to Miller Park. (Photo: Art Taylor for California Globe)

Last February 8, 2022, the Miller Park Safe Ground 60-tent low barrier shelter was opened.

The Sacramento City Council gave over a publicly owned and publicly funded city park and marina to hundreds of homeless without a vote of the people.

How is that “Safe Ground” homeless park doing? Judging by the photos above and below, it is thriving and growing – for the homeless vagrants who now live there.

The Miller Park homeless site was initiated as a City of Sacramento Sponsored, temporary site for two homeless Camps, Sacramento resident Art Taylor, who shared the photos, told the Globe. “Now-there is an additional Homeless Camp-Gully Camp and Homeless Camping surrounding Miller Park. The Gully Camp also is adjacent to a Tunnel, under Interstate-5.  It is marred with graffiti and is under I-5, to THE MILL, which is fenced off.”

Homeless Camping on Dirt Road to Gully Camp/I-5 S. Can be seen from I-5. (Photo: Art Taylor for California Globe)
Gully Camp, with vehicles, stolen bicycles, stolen carts, garbate, tents, From Road to Boat Parking. (Photo: Art Taylor for California Globe)

If Gov. Newsom plans on holding Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, the Sacramento City Council and Sacramento County Board of Supervisors accountable for this kind of failed homeless program, we are supportive. But he must first apply “The Buck Stops Here” formula on himself if he aspires to higher office. The billions spent on homeless in California have been incentivized, directed by and authorized by Gov. Newsom. His “Groundbreaking programs” like Homekey and Project Roomkey have done very little to solve the homeless crisis, nor have they become “national models for getting people off the streets.” Quite the opposite.

California and Gov. Newsom have become the laughingstock of the country when it comes to building programs pretending to solve the homeless crisis. And Sacramento’s elected “leaders” aren’t far behind. Any idiot can spend money, and some idiots just do it bigger.

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19 thoughts on “Gov. Newsom Shirks Blame for Increasing Homelessness in Golden State

  1. Democrats creating utopia one tent at a time.

    They used to be able to blame republicans for anything awhile back, but Democrats have had the majority in state for at least 30+ years

  2. You’re not kidding, Katy, “That’s a lot of BS in one sentence,” about Newsom’s incomprehensible blatherings about hotel housing and other ridiculous “solutions” for homeless/vagrants, none of which are EVER ANYWHERE NEAR a solution.

    Just LOOK at what these monsters, who call themselves our governors and mayors, have done to our state capital and to our state. The before and after photos in this article ALONE are enough to make a person scream, or more likely weep. And what do these monsters want to do now? Make this shocking, horrible, inhumane, unacceptable situation worse, that’s what, and spend BILLIONS MORE achieving it. The more they spend and the worse it gets the better they like it. As you know. But pretend you never heard that bizarre statement before and just let it sink in.

    If there is any justice in this world these people will not get away with what they have done, trashing our state and repeatedly compounding this misery for EVERYONE, the homeless/vagrants included.

    I hope Katy Grimes’ strong, effective, and well-researched article will inspire other California reporters to do their jobs and take their jobs seriously to hold these politicians accountable. We need all the help we can get in this state.

  3. My nephew is drug addicted and homeless in CA. He’s been through several rehabs (one court ordered) and did about a year in jail for theft. He managed to stay clean for 2 days in order to see his dying grandmother and then immediately took a bus to North Dakota, paid for by my sister, to stay with his clean brother and get a job. His attitude about work made him walk out of McDonald’s. He then attempted to get a monthly check and cell phone from the ND government, but they don’t coddle people there, so he went back to California. 4 years later he’s still living on the streets as far as I know. Still stealing, still using. Thousands of homeless people have made their way to CA for the weather and the perks. They’ve developed their own barter systems to survive on the street. They steal to have things to trade for drugs. It’s a tragic outcome for so many once promising people who became mentally ill or addicted to drugs. The money should go to getting them help *then* getting them housing. Of course, there are a small number of homeless who choose to live that way and families who have lost everything. The latter can usually find government help until they can get a job, etc.

    1. Thank you for posting, Erin. If we ever move toward what needs to be done in this state, and what used to happen here in a taken-for-granted way, your nephew will get the no-nonsense help he needs and will very likely benefit from it. The list is long of former homeless drug addicts who SWEAR that their lives were SAVED because of law enforcement and criminal justice policies that forced them into rehab when nothing else could. This once common-sense view that should be expended in a serious way has been all but destroyed in CA thanks to very bad sociopathic, subhuman actors who apparently aim(?) to elevate themselves by enslaving others, or maybe they just destroy for the sake of destroying. Who even knows what goes on in their twisted-up skulls. Don’t think it will work out too well for them but in the meantime everyone suffers. For no good reason.

    2. Erin: I should add a confirmation to what you said about those who have lost everything and end up on the street. This is a very small percentage (about 10%) and are considered “low-hanging fruit” because these unlucky ones are highly motivated to get back on their feet as soon as possible. Fine organizations such as L.A. Union Rescue Mission – https://URM.org – and Sacramento’s Union Gospel Mission – https://ugmsac.com – have great success with such people AND have also had success with longtime addicts of every description, thought to be “hopeless,” who have been brought back from the brink of hell as well. At URM the tents and camps line the streets around the mission but those inside of those tents have not yet crossed the mission threshhold.
      This is an under-reported story —- with the exception of Katy Grimes here at The Globe who has covered it extensively —- that seems appropriate to raise here again at this time of the year. Check out the websites to see miraculous stories of hope and redemption.

    3. MOST “homeless” choose to live that way. A friend in Oakhurst signed up to provide dinner to the homeless in his community every Friday for a month. The first time, he spoke with each person and asked them why they are homeless. To a person the reply was that they want to live that way. The government gives them a monthly check, and kindhearted people provide food and other goods; they have no incentive to get a job. I don’t want my tax dollars going to support deadbeats!

  4. Newsom will continue to escape blame. He knows few voters actually care about the homeless. As an example, point out one local California politician who lost their job due to their failure to address homelessness….Sadly it will take some horrific crime to bring statewide calls to clean this mess up.

  5. Maybe concerned Sacramento citizens should offer to relocate some of the homeless from Miller Park to Gov. Newsom’s expansive eight acre estate in Fair Oaks? No doubt there is plently of room to house some homeless in his 12,000 foot mansion? It would be the type of EQUITY that he and his Democrat cronies are always promoting?

  6. where does all the millions of dollars go they claim to have spent helping the homeless crisis? because I haven’t seen any of improvements to the situation. there haven’t been any tiny home communities built, no affordable housing made available or shelters put up to get people out of the cold and off the streets. people should be accountable for what they spent the money on and how its beneficial to solving the homelessness problem

  7. While some will see this as “mean” if you don’t address the addiction and mental health problems as the first priority, it is all just wasted effort. For some with mental health issues, that means having, and using, institutional settings. Of course no one wants to be locked up for being crazy, but the sad fact is some need it.

  8. AHA!
    Shirking 101, it is in the Political Science departments catalog of classes at all of the University of California campuses.
    I have yet to see a politician or a bureaucrat take responsibility for their decisions.
    That is why they are in that field!

  9. To those of you who think that homeless people are all drug addicted mental midgets, you better educate yourself. When covid settle down a bit most landlords very quickly sold their properties, many to foreign investors who came in immediately and raised the rent, and discontinued all services that the tenants had known before. These landlords are putting people in the streets because they want to be able to raise the rent even further and they can do it with new tenants. Open your eyes to what’s really happening in America…

    1. Please cite proof of what you say. I know that there are fewer rental dwellings because people like me are selling them to escape the ridiculous regulations from Sacramento. With the exception of one duplex, ours were single family residences, and we sold to owner-occupiers. We replaced those rentals with single family residences in states more friendly to landlords. Many landlords sold out for the same reason. If some sold to foreign investors, that was their perogative. I was sick of the state telling me what to do with MY OWN property!

  10. “Once again. Califormia leads the way” down the toilet. If Grewsome spent half as much timem trying to do his job as he does on his real priorities: 1) having afairs with staffers/interns, 2) getting his hair lubed for the on camera, and 3) aspiring for national office he’ll never get, he might accomplish something given the significant wealth transfer from the middle class to State government via taxes. If he really wanted to cleqr out a homeless encampment, he should send First Cuckqueen Jennifer Siebel Newsom in to talk to them since she is oibviously much more skilled at driving men away than her husband is at decreasing homeless encampments.

  11. At the local level, Mayor BeerStein and the rest of the geniuses at CIty Hall could get a few crackheads and/or crackpots out of the homeless camps by appointing them to vacancies among the numerous advisory committees overseeing the mismanagement of tax dollars. That was a hysterically amusing failure with “Stupante Clark”.

  12. I agree with the author. I’ve read the CA Auditor’s report, 2019-119 (Lanterman-Petris-Short Act), which has the findings for audits of Los Angeles County, San Francisco County, and Shasta County, and her Homelessness Report (all public, auditor.ca.gov). The gist of it is that without a modern, machine readable format (MRF), a standard system for all 58 CA counties, the State has not been able to track funding and spending or assess the efficacy of the diverse, fragmented response that now exists in CA. Her recommendations were approved by the legislature and a bill went to Gov. Newsom, which he vetoed, claiming it was an unnecesary, a redundant expense. Unbelievable!!! The point she made was that the shoddy, inconsistent methods of reporting, or lack of it, has made it impossible to ascertain if counties have been accountable. Information is missing. Counties need an explicit system, a standard for reporting, and help to establish a state-wide system of accountability, once and for all. Elaine Howles, then CA Auditor, also wanted an IG (Inspector General) to see that it got done. That didn’t happen. Gov. Newsom’s penny-wise, pound-foolish decision has perpetuated the State’s lack of understanding about what’s happening on the county level. It’s untenable and wasteful. Hospitals in general don’t want the responsibility of caring for the seriously mentally ill homeless. The envisioned community health system that was supposed to replace former hospitals has not been able to meet the demands of the SMI with psychoses. The five state hospitals left in CA are now forensic and there was a waiting list for a psych bed for ISTs (incompetent to stand trial) of around 2,000 inmates who are deteriorating in jails awaiting trial. CA law states that an IST person referred by the court to a state hosp. psych bed must be admitted within 20 days. the idea is that they must be stabilized and brought back to sanity enough to participate in their trial, being entitled to a speedy trial. The problem is that many ISTs have gone without treatment or therapy for so many years that tryiing to restore them is very difficult. The CA Auditor said she expeceted the wait list to grow every month unless the State of CA Expanded it State Hosp. System. Gov. Newsom has put off requesting the IMD Exclusions Act that would allow that to happen, for years and the deadline to do so is approaching. Rep. Grace Napolitano has introcuded HR2611 (4-16-21 to the Federal House of Reps. and it has been referred to the Subcommittee on Health. We need to support this bill as a nation and address the lack of care and psych beds, which would best serve the needs of the SMI with a model of care like Worcester Recovery, which is part of UMass. Med School–a 3-tier, modern, wrap-around system with supportive serivces that connect to a continuum of care. We don’t have that now. Also, undestand that our 5 remaining State Hosps. no longer admit civil cases, because the wait list is too long for ISTs and the law doesn’t state that civil case has to be admitted within a stated period of time. Why isn’t the State of CA being fined or pressure more to obey their own law and provide facilities with enough psych beds to meet current needs. Incarceration has been deemed by civilized nations to be cruel and unusual punishment. SMI people DO NOT get adequate care in jails, they are more likely to deteriorate and be victimized by other inmates. Corrections Officers do not know anything about how to care for people with brain illnesses and tend to have little patience for them, which is understandable. SMI people need medical care. It’s their illness that causes them to lose their civil rights, not a system of involuntary care for the most seriously psychotic who are incapable of managing their care until they can be stabilized enough to participate in a continuum of care. They have a human right to health care and the chance to regain sanity. Anyone who witnesses how SMI people suffer now in our streets and as inmates should be ashamed of what our misguided system has done. What we’re doing is discriminating against people who have an illness that affects their behavior negatively. With any other illness, it’s possible to get care. Even the insured whose plans tout plans with mental health care fall far short. If they’re sick long enough, they lose everything including their insurance. Families with teens who get SMI usually can’t get proper care with their plans, so they end up subsidizing other illnesses (with premiums) for which they don’t need care and can’t get care for the illness their child is just developing and would benefit most from to halt the deterioration that follows without proper treatment and therapy. Not giving parity to health care for mental illness is penny-wise and pound-foolish because it will cost more in the long run to pay through taxation for the police involvement, the revoling door of the ERs, the public services necessary to clean up after those deteriorating in the streets, the lawsuits that follow from police encounters with the SMI when they are harmed or killed, with police saying they were a public danger and a danger to the police. We can pay for hospitals or jails and prisons, which are by far more costly and inhumane.

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