Last week the Sacramento City Council voted unanimously in an emergency meeting to immediately open a warming center, a local pool house as needed, and two downtown city garages with bathrooms as safe places for homeless people, AFTER Tuesday’s massive storm with temperatures in the 30’s hit.
This Tweet summed up most reactions: “A great example of governmental crisis management. With Mayor Steinbergs stands on homelessness, did he really need to wait till winter to have his hissy fit?”
“Mayor Steinberg has raised millions of private dollars to help expand shelter capacity in Sacramento and secured $20 million in additional funds for the City and County as part of the 2018 state budget process,” the Mayor’s city blog said. “As the head of the California Big City Mayors group, he has played a key role in lobbying for more state resources to address the state’s most significant public health, safety and humanitarian crisis. Gov. Gavin Newsom included $1 billion to address homelessness in proposed 2019-20 budget, $650 million of which will go directly to local governments.”
Where are those “state resources” going?
The state’s “most significant public health, safety and humanitarian crisis,” is only growing, with every additional dollar ostensibly spent on curing homelessness. Calling the homeless “unhoused,” Mayor Steinberg stubbornly insists that the only problem is finding housing for them, ignoring that they are also “unsober.”
Commandeering hotel rooms, remodeling old hotels, providing tiny homes and apartments for the current crop of homeless drug addicts only makes them “housed” drug addicts. Their addiction and mental health needs to be addressed prior to housing.
Remember, the Mayor’s project to provide tiny apartments in a renovated old downtown Sacramento hotel cost more than $445,000 per unit for about 250 square feet of living space, as the Globe reported. This project only benefitted the union contractors.
Steinberg recently announced he would push to use $40 million of higher than expected sales tax revenue for affordable housing, and $6 million on youth… nothing about the thousands of homeless vagrants living on the streets who would not be able to pay the rent of affordable housing anyway.
The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing in Sacramento, and neither really cares. Steinberg instead focuses on expensive hotel renovations and building tiny homes for the drug-addicted homeless, who destroy these, and strip them of anything of value before being evicted.
In December, State Assembly Members Luz Rivas and David Chiu introduced AB 71, which would create a “statewide homelessness solutions program,” through tax increases, the Globe reported. AB 71 would create the Bring California Home Fund in the State Treasury for the purpose of providing at least $2.4 billion annually to fund a comprehensive, statewide homeless solutions program upon appropriation by the Legislature. The taxes to be raised include, “An increase in the personal income tax on incomes over one million dollars, an increase in the corporate income tax to historical rates, a more progressive corporate income tax, and conformity with the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, including the inclusion of Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (GILTI), eliminating or limiting corporate tax loopholes, including the water’s edge election, marking to market unrealized capital gains and the repeal of stepped-up in basis of inherited assets.”
Does anyone really believe the anticipated $2.4 billion in new taxes would go to a “statewide homeless solutions program?”
The Globe spent Wednesday taking photos of illegal homeless camps around the city. Tents, old RVs, boxes, old furniture, old cars, used drug needles, stolen bicycles, and tons of garbage are standard fare under freeways, on freeway off-ramps, in parking lots, on sidewalks, in parks and along frontage streets, and they are only growing.
Rather than finding ways to get Sacramento’s large homeless population the emergency medical and mental health services they need, Mayor Darrell Steinberg threatened city residents with tent cities in their neighborhoods in December.
Calling Sacramento residents “NIMBYs,” Steinberg wants the city council to adopt a “master plan” – essentially a map marking potential properties across the city. If the council approves the map, city staff could open large shelters, tiny homes and “Safe Ground” lots for car and tent camping on the sites anytime, as funding becomes available, the Sacramento Bee reported.
“The announcement comes two years after Steinberg issued a challenge to every council member to find sites for at least 100 shelter beds in each of their districts. As a result of that call, a large shelter opened in the Capitol Park Hotel downtown, which closed in October; a womens’ shelter opened in Meadowview, and a shelter is set to open under the W-X freeway this summer.”
Steinberg’s plan appears to be an attempt to approve projects without public input.
100 shelter beds in each district… for thousands of homeless drug addicts and mentally ill street vagrants – this is not a plan — it’s just a spending program.
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