Approximately $300 million
California will set aside approximately $300 million for local jurisdictions statewide to help clear homeless encampments, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Nov. 27.
About half of the grants will be used to prioritize clearing encampments near “state right-of-way, helping to make sure the state’s highways remain safe and secure for everyone,” a news release said.
“Since day one, combatting homelessness has been a top priority. Encampments are not safe for the people living in them or for community members around them. The state is giving locals hundreds of millions of dollars to move people into housing and clean up these persistent and dangerous encampments. And we are doing the same on state land, having removed 5,679 encampments since 2021,” Newsom said in a statement.
The new grant comes after the state awarded $414 million from the Encampment Resolution Fund, established through Assembly Bill 140 in 2021. The bill was created to help local governments provide housing options for those living in encampments near highways.
Cities, counties and continuums of care can apply for the grants on a rolling basis until June 30, 2024, or until funds are exhausted, a news release said.
According to state officials, within the last two years, Caltrans has cleared nearly 5,700 encampments statewide and partnered with local organizations to provide housing for those impacted before the encampment being cleared.
“Through the Encampment Resolution Grants, Caltrans is working to connect people experiencing homelessness on its right-of-way to more secure and stable housing situations offered by local partners,” Alisa Becerra, a Caltrans official, said in a statement.
“The strength of this effort relies on collaboration, trust, and a shared commitment to creating real solutions that help the people who need it most.”