Homeless in California

An informative article about that from Associated Press.

An excerpt.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California is doing a poor job of sheltering the nation’s largest homeless population and needs to provide statewide leadership to address the problem, the state auditor said Thursday in a report that also singled out problems with homeless services in Los Angeles County.

California has about 134,000 homeless people, roughly 24 percent of the nation’s total homeless population, and Los Angeles County has the most within the state — at least 55,000 people, an audit summary said.

“California’s relative position regarding its homeless population points to the need for a single entity to oversee an effective and efficient system to address homelessness,” it said.

The audit cited an array of troubling facts about California’s homeless problem.

With 68 percent of its homeless people living in vehicles, abandoned buildings, parks or on streets, California has the highest rate of unsheltered homeless of any state.

Cities such as New York and Boston, by comparison, shelter more than 95 percent of the homeless population, the report said.

Additionally, 82 percent of California’s homeless youth are unsheltered, compared to 38 percent in the rest of the nation.

The unsheltered population also has an increased risk of exposure to communicable diseases, the audit said, noting that four California counties had the largest person-to-person hepatitis A outbreak in the U.S. since a vaccine to prevent the illness became available in 1966

The audit said a 2016 state law that created the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council was a good start in providing oversight, but it has no permanent staff or funding.

The auditor recommended the Legislature provide the council funds to hire staff, including an executive director, and then require the council to develop and implement a statewide strategic plan by next April.

State Sen. Scott Wilk, an Antelope Valley Republican who requested the audit, said Thursday he’s planning to amend a current bill to include funding the council and requiring it to come up with a plan of action.

“I’ll start talking to my colleagues,” Wilk said. Homelessness “is literally everywhere … We have to step up because it’s just a massive challenge. We’ve got to do whatever we can.”

Retrieved April 20, 2018 from https://apnews.com/8c1af6dfc21548f896cda827432befe0/State-auditor:-California-doing-a-poor-job-on-homelessness

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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