Governor Gavin Newsom blamed President Trump and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Wednesday over the delay of $650 million earmarked for homeless relief in California.
HUD still hasn’t approved of the 2019 federal homeless count. As the $650 million needs the numbers to be released to be distributed across California, the state has to wait, despite the last Californian cities sending in their numbers in September.
Governor Newsom has said that the delay was calculated by the Trump Administration to hurt California.
“California is making historic investments now to help our communities fight homelessness. But we have work to do and we need the federal government to do its part,” stated Governor Newsom. ” These are politicized roadblocks put up by the Trump administration.”
Governor Newsom’s criticism has come at a time when the relations between the Governor and the President are as bad as ever. California currently has two lawsuits against the U.S. government over whether California should have their own emissions standards as apposed to an across-the-board style federal plan.
President Trump has also verbally denounced many policies in San Francisco and Los Angeles, with insults flying during Trump’s latest visit to the golden state several months ago. During that trip, President Trump personally blamed San Francisco for releasing, among other things, homeless waste into the ocean.
With a growing homeless issue in California, many cities need more funding for shelters, basic needs, and programs designed to get housing and jobs. Los Angeles alone now has almost 60,000 homeless people, with Oakland almost doubling their amount in only two years time.
Recent polls have also shown growing frustration with the homeless issue, with more and more drastic solutions being called for. Many cities in California are currently trying to drastically increase shelter space, while others are banning homeless from city sidewalks and from setting up tents in public.
“This shouldn’t even be an issue,” said Cynthia Clyburne, who has worked in shelters in Los Angeles and Orange counties. “Those numbers are always approved late. You get a lot of straggler cities. Some are recovering from disasters, and others have a lot more internal issues that cause some delays. At a shelter I worked at in LA, we were late turning in our numbers for a quarter because we had to get some auxiliary spaces nearby during some cold months that we messed the bed count on. So we had to track through photos and asking people to get the right count.”
“It sounds like a lot, but there were thousands of dollars at stake. That goes a long way at a shelter.”
“So some are pushing it later because they don’t want to get it wrong. Some cities maybe can’t afford a low count.”
“That’s why this is happening. It has nothing to do with Trump, or fighting. It’s just something that happens.”
Previous releases have been later in December in past years, including last year, when federal numbers weren’t released until 2018.
Federal numbers are expected within the next two weeks.