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Senate backs Wilk measure to address homeless crisis


This week, State Sen. Scott Wilk (21st District) announced the approval of Senate Bill 333 (SB 333), a measure to address California’s homeless crisis by requiring the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council (HCFC) develop and implement a long-term, strategic plan to combat homelessness across the state, complete with specific goals and benchmarks.

“Walk down the street in any community in California and you will see the depth and breadth of our homeless crisis. It is not limited to one age, demographic or gender. Women and children, who are often left without shelter when there is a problem at home are living on the streets,” Wilk said. “If California is serious about helping people get back on their feet and off the street, we have to be equally serious about ensuring homeless dollars are not wasted in the bureaucracy.”

SB 333 stems from a report released last year by the California State Auditor who, at the request of Wilk and Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), investigated California’s statewide efforts to solve this homeless problem and found woeful inadequacies.

In 2018, California had 134,000 residents without a home on any given night, according to data provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the homeless population has spiked significantly in the past several years.

“This bill will hold state government accountable in its effort to address homelessness and ensure that not a single cent from the taxpayer goes to waste,” said Wilk. “This crisis is just too big and too critical to do otherwise.”

SB 333, co-authored by Assemblyman Tom Lackey, addresses several recommendations from the State Auditor’s report. Specifically, the bill requires the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to develop and implement a statewide, strategic plan to address homelessness in California, including goals and objectives and timelines for achieving them and metrics for measuring their achievements.

SB 333 will now go to the Assembly for consideration.