The homelessness crisis in California has been the catalyst for an effort by 11 of the states mayors to form a coalition that they hope, will end the crisis.
This week the "Big 11 Mayors" are launching a new website that's dedicated to securing funding and generating awareness.
Governor Jerry Brown's budget revision has yielded a $9 billion surplus. The coalition is asking $1.5 billion be directed to communities to combat the crisis.
One of the leading advocates of this effort is City of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. The mayor's Sr. Press Secretary Greg Block, issued IVN San Diego the following statement, "This group of mayors, which recently expanded to become the ‘Big 11,’ has been in existence for many years. It traditionally has been coordinated around specific issues as needed. With mayors like Darrel Steinberg and Kevin Faulconer leading it, the group is becoming more formal, and the website is indicative of that."
HIGH COST OF HOMELESSNESS
More than 134,000 Californians, more than one-quarter of the total homeless population nationally, are homeless. Between 2016 - 2017, the rate of homelessness increased by 14 percent. Without adequate investment, it seems clear the crisis will continue.
In San Diego we know all too well of the price paid by those living on the streets. 20 members of the homeless community died after contracting Hepatitis A last year. At last count, the virus had infected 588 people across the region, and was among the largest outbreaks of the liver-wasting disease seen nationwide in decades.
Block's statement continued, "The current effort to have state funds allocated at the local level is to help municipalities that are already investing in programs and facilities to address the homeless crisis in our state. What we are doing is making a difference and we want to do more of it. We need to add more outreach workers, case managers and housing navigators. Additional funding will give us the resources to be even more effective in our strategy to reduce homelessness in San Diego.”
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
The website asks visitors to join the Coalition to End Homelessness and sign the coalition form.