California Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this week signed a housing and homelessness funding package while vowing to help anyone who comes to the state in search of the California dream, the Washington Examiner reports.
Newsom said at a press conference on Monday, when asked if expected the funding increase the homelessness crisis in the state by drawing in more people, that anyone who wants to take part in the California dream is welcome and will be taken care of.
“It’s about getting people off the streets, out of incidents of crisis, and meeting people where they are and to the extent that people want to come here for new beginnings and all income levels, that’s part of the California dream,” Newsom said. “We have a responsibility to accommodate and enliven and inspire, and California’s dream is still alive and well.”
He added: “I’m proud of people from around the world looking at California again for opportunity, and that, again, that should not just be for certain people. All people should aspire to that California dream regardless of their income level and regarding their lot in life.”
The governor went on to say that “at the end of the day, we have to take accountability, responsibility, and do more, do better. And that’s what this budget intends to do, it’s about results.”
“I don’t think homelessness can be solved – I know homelessness can be solved,” Newsom said in a statement after signing the package.
“We are going all-in with innovative solutions that we know work – with a focus on creating housing to support people with severe mental health challenges, and with more money than ever to move people out of encampments and into safer situations. With record investments tied to strong accountability and efficiency measures, California will continue to build on the groundbreaking success of Homekey, changing the lives of tens of thousands of Californians for the better and supporting communities across the state.”
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told the Examiner that that “those comments blew us away, we are trying to keep our heads above water, and he goes and says that? When he invites the rest of the nation’s homeless to California, that is the death wish.”
He added: “I have homeless with mental illness on the streets who attack residents, set their houses on fire, and run over them with cars. Just the sheer level of violence that comes with the increase in population of homeless is like pouring gasoline on the fire.”