Homelessness & Public Safety, California Waking Up?

Let’s hope so—as the state has proven to be a national trend setter for decades—and this recent poll from the California Chamber says maybe.

An excerpt.

“California voters are anxious.

“Reports of steady growth and low unemployment cheer political leaders, but voters are disturbed by decaying public order and an unaffordable cost of living, according to a recently released CalChamber poll, The People’s Voice, 2019.

Top of mind for voters is the erosion of public order.

“Central to that perception is homelessness. Fully half of voters say they see homeless people on the street more than five times a week. Three out of four voters say homelessness has gotten worse in California, and their perception is not much better in their own communities, where 64% of voters say homelessness has gotten worse.

“While voters generally prefer policy solutions created by officials closer to home, they are so frustrated with lack of action that Californians now put responsibility for solving the homelessness problem on state officials over local officials, by a 62% – 38% margin.

“Regarding proposed solutions, voters indicate a mix of compassion and no-nonsense. Voters most strongly supported:

  • Funding more mental health and homeless service centers specifically focused on serving homeless populations (91% support; 60% strong support).
  • Involuntary commitment of homeless individuals who have severe mental/behavioral issues that may be a danger or harm to themselves or others in the community (89% support; 49% strong support).
  • Build more homeless shelters (86% support; 50% strong support).
  • Allow law enforcement to arrest homeless people who use dangerous and illegal drugs (82% support; 49% strong support).
  • Another take on public order is growing unease over public safety. Seventy-nine percent agree (41% strongly) that homelessness and criminal behavior have become rampant throughout California. Seventy-three percent agree (37% strongly) that street crime, shoplifting and car theft have become rampant throughout California. And 60% agree (25% strongly) with the statement, “I no longer feel safe because of the danger and disorder in society today.” Retrieved October 29, 2019 from https://advocacy.calchamber.com/2019/10/21/new-calchamber-survey-homelessness-public-safety-top-concerns-for-california-voters/

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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