May 11, 2021
California Gov. Gavin Newsom Homelessness Crisis Response Press Conference Transcript May 11
California Gov. Gavin Newsom held a press conference on May 11, 2021 to unveil his response plan to the homelessness crisis. Read the transcript of his briefing speech here.
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Deacon Jim Vargas: (04:33)
Good morning, everyone. Thank you for being with us this morning. I want to welcome Governor Newsom. It’s a pleasure to have you join us to see firsthand of the true impact of our work together in San Diego to help people end their homelessness. Also, welcome to Secretary Castro Ramirez and Secretary Ghaly, behind me somewhere. Supervisor Fletcher and Mayor Gloria, it’s always a pleasure to be with you. Through our partnership with the San Diego Housing Commission, the City, the County, and the State, what only a short while ago was an extended stay hotel now provides a safe home for over 175 people during a time when they need most. While COVID-19 has been dangerous for everyone, most of us are able to shelter in place in our own homes. However, our neighbors experiencing homelessness are at the mercy [inaudible 00:05:27] safe home in which to shelter and with limited resources for hygiene, [inaudible 00:05:32] health and physical distancing.
Deacon Jim Vargas: (05:35)
Additionally, our unsheltered neighbors are at higher risk of negative health effects due to COVID-19 since they face disproportionately high levels of preexisting chronic illnesses and compromised immune systems. For that reason, there has never been a time where it was more critical to move people off the streets and into safe, permanent housing with access to comprehensive supportive services that help them toward self-sufficiency. That’s why at Father Joe’s Villages, we could not be more grateful, Governor Newsom, for your efforts to the Project Homekey. [inaudible 00:06:07] have given San Diego the ability to quickly mobilize to deploy permanent housing communities like this one during the pandemic and move people off the streets in the immediacy.
Deacon Jim Vargas: (06:17)
Project Homekey not only provides a safe place for people who are most vulnerable, it provides a permanent home for hundreds of neighbors overcoming homelessness. Including people like Catalina Chavez, who was homeless for five years before coming to Father Joe’s Villages. [inaudible 00:06:33] says, “Losing my home felt like my whole world had just caved in. I was starting to lose hope and faith in my life. I got on my knees and prayed for hope. Father Joe’s Villages came into my life and it has been a blessing to me ever since. When I opened my door to my own home for the first time, I couldn’t believe that it was mine. Having a place of my own has given me safety. I feel like God heard my prayers.”
Deacon Jim Vargas: (06:58)
Catalina is just one of many who expressed their gratitude to us each and every single day. This is the true impact of housing [inaudible 00:07:09] compassion and empowerment. Once again, thank you for visiting [inaudible 00:07:15] to see our shared work [inaudible 00:07:17] working together [inaudible 00:07:19] county and state, one life at a time. And now it’s my pleasure to introduce Supervisor Fletcher.
Nathan Fletcher: (07:35)
Thank you. Thank you, Deacon Jim. I’m honored to be here today to really showcase how innovative and bold leadership from our governor has resulted in life-changing results, who now call this place home. This is an example of the State coming in to provide help and funding of our city or county and or nonprofits, to work with a shared purpose, knowing that we have to take transformative change. Not just band-aids, but actual structural change in providing opportunities for people to turn their lives around.
Nathan Fletcher: (08:07)
But this is progress that we’re recognizing today, started with our governor. With Governor Newsom prioritizing funding to tackle homelessness, then the City and the County joined in. The County joining in with millions of dollars for services. The City, doing their part. Our Housing Commission, our nonprofits, everyone coming together to make this a truly life changing center. But we know, even with the progress we’ve seen from things that have been done to date, that we have to do more. The conditions on the street that you see both in San Diego and then across California remind us of the urgent need of so many. Both those who are unsheltered and are struggling, but also the impacts on our communities, on our neighborhoods, on our small business. And the significance of the challenge we face motivates us to move with a great sense of urgency and importance.
Nathan Fletcher: (08:59)
The governor’s announcement today is truly a game changer. A historic investment for the State of California that can functionally end [inaudible 00:09:08] family homelessness. The resources the governor’s proposing will ensure that more structures are built and acquired to provide the vital housing that is needed. But the funding the governor’s proposing today will also provide more services to help people truly get their lives back on track, the structures, the services.
Nathan Fletcher: (09:29)
But the third component is just as important. And that’s the governor’s proposal as it relates to preventative efforts. We need to stop that slide [inaudible 00:09:36] people on the streets. And the combination of all of those things together is what [inaudible 00:09:45] a moment where we can really see significant progress in our state, and I fully support the efforts of the governor. And I pledge that as a county, Governor, we will join as a partner, not just in spending available money, but in putting in our own.
Nathan Fletcher: (09:58)
Our recently created office of homeless solutions at the County, is proposed to work with more than $85 million in this year’s budget alone, to make sure we are matching that commitment and we are coming together with everything that you are doing at the State to be a part of the solution. As Chair of the Board of Supervisors, I’ve made reinvisioning our behavioral health system, our mental health and substance abuse, my single highest priority. And the governor’s announcement today will help us tremendously in achieving that aim.
Nathan Fletcher: (10:28)
But as it requires the State and the County, that County-City partnership is vital as well. And I am so encouraged that we now have a mayor in San Diego willing to move heaven and earth, to do everything possible, willing to work collaboratively with our county and with our nonprofits. A mayor I’m pleased to consider my friend and someone that I talk to almost daily about all of the issues we face. Knowing that together, city county, state, we can make significant progress for our region.
Nathan Fletcher: (10:58)
I appreciate tremendously, Governor, you joining us in this truly historic announcement around funding. And Mayor, I appreciate our ongoing collaboration. I know together we can make the lives of San Diegans much better. And with that, it gives me great pleasure to introduce the Mayor of San Diego, Todd Gloria.
Todd Gloria: (11:17)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I do appreciate both our friendship and our partnership on this issue of extreme importance to San Diegans. And there’s another to partner in this effort to fight homelessness that we have that’s here today, I’m grateful for our governor. Governor, want to welcome you to San Diego, again, for this major announcement.
Todd Gloria: (11:36)
You know, in the past we here in San Diego [inaudible 00:11:39] folks up in Sacramento that there is more of California south of Los Angeles. Not this governor. Governor Newsom knows San Diego, and he knows the issue that San Diegans talk to me the most about. Amidst the pandemic and the economic slowdown, it is homelessness and housing affordability that San Diegans talk to myself and the Chairman about, demanding answers, demanding action.
Todd Gloria: (12:03)
… chairman about. Demanding answers, demanding action. Because that’s the second thing I wanted to say about our governor, is that he is about solutions, he is about actions on this most pressing of issues. And that is noted by today’s major announcement.
Todd Gloria: (12:14)
The State of California, in this unique time we find ourselves in, has an unprecedented opportunity to make a major impact that will be felt for years to come, on this challenge of homelessness and housing. My colleagues and I, and the coalition of big city mayors led by the Mayor of San Jose, Sam Liccardo, put out a call to our leaders in Sacramento asking them to make a massive [inaudible 00:12:37] investment in fighting homelessness. And I’m here to say that they heard us. San Diego’s own Toni Atkins, the leader of our state Senate, along with the assembly speaker Anthony Rendon and his budget chair, assembly member Phil Ting, all echoed our called to take homelessness on head-on.
Todd Gloria: (12:55)
Today, I’m proud to stand here in San Diego, alongside Chairman Fletcher and our governor to announce that help is on the way and that we can in fact address this urgent crisis. Governor, I think you know better than most, this announcement will make a world of difference in the lives of thousands of Californians up and down our state. We see that right here at the Kerney Vista apartments, the kind of difference that this investment can make and how quickly it can be done. Less than a year ago this was a hotel. Today it’s home to more than 177 formerly homeless San Diegans. This is due to Governor Newsom’s leadership and his vision in enacting Project Homekey, a historic investment in rapidly creating thousands of homes in record time up and down …
Todd Gloria: (13:47)
And thanks to our partners at Father Joe Villages, as well as the San Diego Housing Commission, this is more than a home, it is the services that will keep people housed and ultimately break the cycle of homelessness, providing things like case management, mental health counseling, employment assistance. The list of services are immense. And that’s what we know ends homelessness, housing plus services is how you get the job done. And that’s what San Diegans, that’s what Californians are asking for, and that’s what this governor is delivering.
Todd Gloria: (14:17)
And it doesn’t just end here in Kearny Mesa. We have another property, a little bit bigger than this one down in Mission Valley. And as mayor of the city, I will note historically we would only put it homeless services in certain neighborhoods, but in this case we we’re putting them the neighborhoods were there have never before been services, but there has always been need. This is transformational, this is game changing. And again, it is being done quicker than anyone has ever done it before.
Todd Gloria: (14:41)
So I thank the community Kearny Mesa, I thank the community Mission Valley, and I think every San Diego neighborhood who sees that we can not solve this problem unless everyone is participating in the solutions. And of course, what we have is a state government that is fully invested in solving this particular problem. Like our county, the city standing up and using a healthy chunk of our relief dollars from the Biden administration to plus up our services. Doing more shelter beds, more services, more rapid rehousing, more employment opportunities to actually staff these facilities and make sure services are provided.
Todd Gloria: (15:14)
I was proud to support Project Homekey as a member of the state assembly, but as mayor, I’m grateful to receive these funds that have gotten this project done and will get more projects done. And so governor, I tell you as mayor of the second largest city in the State of California, we are prepared to take the funds that you’re going to recommend to the legislation today, to put them to work with purpose and speed, because it matches the urgency of the problem we find ourselves in. I’m just grateful that we have a governor that recognizes this is a crisis, it demands action, and we got to get it done not tomorrow, but today.
Todd Gloria: (15:46)
It’s a real honor to be able to introduce in my hometown of San Diego, our governor, who knows his way to this city and he comes back again and again, governor, thank you for your leadership, thank you for committing and prioritizing homelessness, and thank you for being here in America’s finest city. I give you Governor Gavin Newsom everybody.
Governor Newsom: (16:03)
Thank you, Mr. Mayor. By the way, Mia Grace and Lindsey, you have a second? Just if I may, Mr. Mayor, just two of the residents, and the mayor made point, there are 177 residents in this facility. This opened up just a few months ago in December. And we thought just because Mia Grace was so kind enough to wave at us as we were walking in … good bye, we wanted to say hello and introduce you to her and to Lindsay to can talk a little bit about their experience over the last few months. And we did this unrehearsed and Lindsay was gracious enough to say, “I’ll come in and perhaps share a few thoughts and words with you.” Please.
Lindsay Prescott: (16:49)
Yeah, like you said, my name’s Lindsay Prescott. This is my daughter, Mia Grace Prescott, and we are extremely grateful for this opportunity. I was pregnant with her on the streets. I was an addict, I was using and she got put in foster care. She was there until just recently, 18 months. And because of this opportunity and because housing commission allowed to let us live here, I got my daughter back. I’m 18 months sober, she’ll be 19 months old 22nd of this month. And I am beyond grateful to Father Joe’s and for this opportunity for me to have my child and to be off the streets and to live the life I was meant to live.
Governor Newsom: (17:32)
Well, a lifesaving story that is behind every single one of the units in this remarkable facility. And I just want to compliment and thank the mayor for making this happen. Thank you. The president of the county board of supervisors, Nathan Fletcher, for making this happen.
Governor Newsom: (17:59)
By the way, that’s not just a rote and cliche, that’s not just me patronizing two elected officials. That’s me actually thanking two leaders for actually delivering on a promotion and a promise to secure these sites and to do so with a sense of urgency that is required of this moment. Both the mayor and the supervisor talked in terms of urgency. They recognize the urgency that’s upon each and every one of us in a state as wealthy as the State of California and a state as poor as the State of California. There’s no greater manifestation of our failure as a society broadly, or as a state more specifically … homelessness. And that’s what brought to bear a strategy to do something radically different.
Governor Newsom: (18:48)
There’s an old saying, say continue to do what you’ve done, you’ll get what you’ve got. We recognized a year plus ago that we needed to do things radically differently. And that’s when we birthed an idea, Project Roomkey and Homekey, and the two elected officials you just heard from used a similar phrase, game changer. These programs move with a sense of urgency and focus, the likes of which we have never advanced in the State of California. This site was procured in just a few months. This would have taken years to build something like this, to house individuals, to the process the permits, the neighborhood input, neighborhood opposition, issues related to furnishing it, providing the onsite case management. All of that happened in a matter of months.
Governor Newsom: (19:42)
Launched last, Homekey, last July, over a six month period, we invested $846 million in 94 projects like this all up and down the State of California. And within six months each and every one of these projects were in escrow and weeks or months later, they have opened up. This, for 177 individuals, Mia Grace, Lindsey, [inaudible 00:20:13] units, as the mayor said, this compliments another project of 190 units in Mission Valley nearby. State’s contribution in both those projects totaled $37.7 million, leveraging money from the city, the county, philanthropy, community-based organizations, and the federal government. True partnerships.
Governor Newsom: (20:35)
A demonstrable example, 6,000 units over a six month … [inaudible 00:20:42] example of what we’re capable of doing when we have that sense of urgency backed up by strategies and plans to get things done. That was a remarkable, remarkable process because it opened up our eyes to what’s possible. We can spread things out, we can talk about the way the world used to be. We can hold hands, have a candlelight vigil, look to blame administrations from a bygone era, and talk about the good old days in the ’40s and ’50s and ’60s we were in the housing business and when housing and urban development actually meant something in terms of the housing, not just urban development.
Governor Newsom: (21:21)
Or we can actually take responsibility and move in a different direction. What we’re announcing here today is truly transformative. What we’re announcing here today is truly historic. It’s unprecedented, not just in California history, what we’re announcing today is simply unprecedented in American history. And forgive me, there’s a lot of superlatives there, some would accuse that of being almost hyperbolic. None of it is hyperbolic. It’s just factual. What we’re doing here today is multiples of what any state in American history has committed to, to address this crisis of homelessness straight on.
Governor Newsom: (21:56)
We’re announcing today that what we’d done in the past, as significant as it’s been, and I want to thank your mayor for being there front and center, when we secured over a billion dollars in our housing budget last year. At that time, that was announced as an historic investment in the issue of housing and homelessness.
Governor Newsom: (22:20)
This year, we are proposing to multiply that by 10. What we’re proposing here today is a $12 billion, two year housing proposal. Unprecedented, again, in American history, not just California history. This is not just doubling down on strategy. This is an order of magnitude investment into transforming the homeless crisis in the State of California to one of America’s most enlightening stories with the support and examples of people who are demonstrable proof that homelessness can end in our society, that we’re not doomed to manage more efficiently into the future, that we can solve homelessness once and for all.
Governor Newsom: (23:09)
Lindsay’s an example of that. Mia Grace is an example of that. They’re proof of what we’re capable of doing. But we recognize we have to do so much more. $8.75 billion, close to $9 billion, in new specific housing supports along the lines of this project right here. Hotel motel conversion, tiny home conversions, modular unit investment, new [inaudible 00:23:38] rehab investments at a scale the likes of which we’ve never seen. Homekey, instead of providing that 840 plus million dollars that we provided or supported in terms of budget last year, we’re looking to do $3.5 billion for Homekey alone. $2.5 billion for a board and care, residential treatment, mental health supports-
Governor Newsom: (24:03)
… Care, residential treatment, mental health supports, housing in that space, conservatorship for intensive services, another billion dollars. This is the most significant … Of mental health housing, board and care housing in modern California history as well. Some $9 billion, $8.75 billion just in that space. As was noted a moment ago by Chair Fletcher, we are committed ending family homelessness. That’s why it was so appropriate Mia Grace was here. The idea that a young child should be separated from her mother in a stranger’s home, as remarkable as foster families and supporters are, that should give us all a pause.
Governor Newsom: (24:55)
That’s why we’re committing today to a five-year plan to effectively end family homelessness in the state of California. But the difference between this plan, it’s not a platitude. It’s actually backed up with an additional $3.5 billion. That includes prevention services, rapid rehousing, and funding to support people, keep them in their homes, as well as to quickly procure and develop new family-focused units of housing, to support family reunification and support families on their journey to permanency, and ultimately get out of the difficulties and challenges that they face
Governor Newsom: (25:33)
That is a record investment, and this is all possible because of you. It’s all possible because of 48 million Californians strong. A state that’s not coming back, but a state that’s roaring back because yesterday we announced historic budget surplus. Yesterday we announced we’re giving back the largest tax rebate in American history, $12 billion, and giving them back to two-thirds of California’s, almost 80%, 78% of all tax filers. Today, we’re announcing an equivalent commitment to address this homeless issue head-on, end family homelessness in the state of California. Support our veterans by getting them off the street. Re-imagining not just re-focusing our efforts on building out capacity in our behavioral health and mental health system and our board and care home system, but backing that up with $3.5 billion capital pledge and doing more still later this week, where you’ll hear about the service side through programs like [inaudible 00:26:37] and the transformative payments completely re-imagined.
Governor Newsom: (26:42)
Our integration between brain health and physical health and the incorporation of housing as a health strategy to address the issue of those chronically homeless out on the streets and sidewalks. Bottom line. This is packaged. It’s backed up with urgency. It’s a package that’s backed up by proven results based upon the experience of the last year, and at the end of the day in closing, this simply cannot happen without remarkable, local elected officials that are on the ground every single day that are driving this because the state vision to end homelessness in this state can never be realized anywhere else except locally. That’s why I’m so honored to be back here in Kearny Mesa, but here in Kearny Vista in particular with the mayor and with my friend, the President of the County Board of Supervisors that are not interested in the issue of homelessness, but are committed to ending homelessness once and for all in this state. We can get this done.
Governor Newsom: (27:48)
This is a historic moment, as they said, a changing moment. I couldn’t be more proud to be here to present this package. This plan, this comprehensive strategy to the legislature, and hope and expectation that we can drive this through the budget process and ultimately get to where we all want to go. Final words, this package also includes accountability. None of us are naive. That we all need to be accountable for results. New measured expectations, new specific targets and goals and real consequences of not reaching those goals. We have no interest in just talking about how much we’re spending. We care about outcomes, not just inputs. That’s why accountability will also be driven through this agenda in a way that it simply hasn’t been in the past, as well.
Governor Newsom: (28:45)
So, with that, friends forgive me for being a little long- winded, but this is the point of personal pride and passion for me. As a former mayor, as someone that actually has experience in the foster care system, and someone who cares deeply about what’s happening out on streets and sidewalks, and the dignity of every single individual to live their lives out loud, and to be able to do more and more, to help support people back on their feet and to life, where they can live loud. So, with that again, we’re here to answer any questions.
Julie Watson: (29:25)
Hi, Governor. It’s Julie Watson from the AP. I wanted to ask if you could expand on what you mean by functionally end family homelessness in five years, and does expanding Project Homekey mean returning to the usual way of getting approvals to convert buildings to housing projects or use their emergency powers to get things done quicker.
Governor Newsom: (29:44)
One of the remarkable things that Todd Gloria was responsible for with his colleagues was expediting the permitting and allowing [inaudible 00:29:54] zoning for these projects. We absolutely are committed to advancing that cause yet again, and that was a differentiator again. The time value of dignity and lives, not just time value of money, matters, then we got to drive this agenda with the urgency that is required. I’m not interested in six-year plans, 60-year plans. I see a change now. I get that. What’s happening on the streets and sidewalks is unacceptable. No one, no one should be pleased with that. The status quo needs to change and the status quo is going to change. We have to change our approach, and our approach is to expedite and fast track that all of these projects and the signing of these projects, and that’s a big part of this package, as well.
Governor Newsom: (30:34)
As it relates to the specifics on family homelessness, we estimate there’s roughly 37,000 individuals, families that are unhoused or homeless or in precarious positions. That is an attainable strategy and goal, over the next five years to address all the needs of that population, but again, with the urgency of the immediacy to move these dollars out so that process starts with some very significant engagement from the front end, not just waiting on the back end. We estimate that the package we announced today, and this is not an estimate. It’s based upon, and I want to thank Lorez for being here and Mark Allie for being here, your two secretaries, Housing and Health and Human Services. They, in their effort to really analyze this strategy, estimate that we will provide 65,000 placements with this package, 65,000 placements. That is not insignificant. [inaudible 00:31:48] Again, will be targeted to families as well as individuals, people on encampments, veterans, those with severe behavioral health, substance abuse issues and the like.
Jeff McAdam: (31:59)
Hi, Mr. Governor. Jeff McAdam, Fox 5. There’s obviously only so many hotels, motels, you can move into. Only so much affordable housing that can be built. There’s a lot of companies out there considering, do I go back to an office space or do we have all this office space potentially that’s available to move into? Is that ever been considered, any incentives that might be available to a company?
Governor Newsom: (32:29)
Not only incentives, but billions of dollars in incentives. Not only is it considered it’s as of right utilization use, provides flexibility to local communities, counties, cities, to use these dollars specifically for those kinds of conversions. Now, you have local planning department issues. We’ll have to work through those issues, but these dollars create that flexibility for change of use and for taking existing units that are used for one particular purpose, and converting them for the purposes that we’re outlining here today. So, no, very specifically these dollars contemplate those kinds of conversions. That’s what makes perspective as an ex-mayor, from a mayoral perspective, is providing that flexibility so that the supervisor and the mayor can, through application at the local level, based upon the criteria and availability of units, availability of resources that are unique to their jurisdictions.
Jeff McAdam: (33:33)
One more question, if I may. I know that there’s unconventional places, maybe that we’re moving into that are opportunities, whether it’s Mission Valley or otherwise. Will there be opportunities for the public to weigh in before [inaudible 00:33:45] housing next door? This is obviously great for a lot of people, but will it be an opportunity for the public to weigh in on [crosstalk 00:33:52]
Governor Newsom: (33:51)
Yeah, well I mean, we have a well-established process in the State, but let me just make this point, and the mayor and the supervisor can talk more about that specific to San Diego, which I think is only appropriate, but let me just say this as Governor. I actually want to get something done. I don’t want to talk about this for a decade. Some have referred to our process for developing housing in the state as paralysis by analysis. It goes on and on, on, on. What perseveres is the affordability crisis in this State. So we’re as dumb as we want to be, with all due respect, as a state. I’m just not interested in being passive in that conversation any longer, and we’re going to be a little bit more aggressive in that space. That said, again, as a former local official, I am deeply mindful of those local issues, and want to be responsive and respectful to the mayor and the supervisor, not just today, but also in the future.
Todd Gloria: (34:52)
I want to just add, so if we’re fortunate enough that the Governor’s proposal passes and we receive these dollars, there’ll be a public hearing on receiving those dollars. There’ll be a public hearing about procurement of the properties. Our planning department is very good at going out to community planning groups and [inaudible 00:35:10] I associate myself with what the governor was saying. As a member of the city council, I cited multiple homeless shelters in my city council district. Each of them involved a robust [inaudible 00:35:25] to make sure that any concerns that were felt by the community, we’re not one and done at the permitting process throughout the life of the project.
Todd Gloria: (35:31)
I’m here to tell you years later, whether it’s the Aspire Center on San Diego Avenue, just a few blocks from my home or a downtown Connections Housing Path project, these groups no longer meet, because there are no issues. These are, can integrate well into the community. You can see that here, and again, as your mayor, I say very clearly, this is a city-wide problem. Every neighborhood has to be a part of the solution to solving the homelessness crisis in San Diego. Mr. Chairman.
Nathan Fletcher: (35:59)
Yeah. Look, communities always weigh in. Communities always have a voice in the way to do it.
Nathan Fletcher: (36:03)
Well, communities always weigh in. Communities always have a voice and a way to do it. But look, there’s just a frank reality that every community group you go to demands that you solve the problem with homelessness. And then in the exact same meeting, they’ll demand that you don’t solve it anywhere near them. That’s just the reality. Everyone wants you to deal with it as long as it’s not near them, but you can’t solve the problem not in here anyone. And so, we have to have that fortitude to listen to communities, to address reasonable concerns that are constructive and a part of the solution. But those voices that just say, “No. Never. Not here. Not now. Delay …” There’s a difference between hearing folks and agreeing with them. And so, I think we have to continue to have elected leaders that will listen to reasonable concerns about how you make it work and how you be responsive to those.
Nathan Fletcher: (36:46)
But don’t simply get beat down by the loudest voices that will ensure a continuation of decks. We’re standing at a site in my district. I told my constituents, the board of supervisors, I’ll put them in my district. We’ve got the one in Mission Valley. Happy to put it in my district. 440 units of 100% affordable goes in Claremont. Happy to put it in my district. Downtown project, happy to do it. And we need every elected official to be willing to summon that same ability to say, “We’re going to do it responsibly. We’re going to listen to the community, but we have an obligation to act. And it’s not enough to simply say, “We need to put it somewhere else.”” To use an analogy you hear the governor use before. It’s like saying, “There’s a leak in your side of the boat.” Hey, we’re all in this boat.
Nathan Fletcher: (37:29)
And that means Kearney Mason has got to be a part of the solution. That means Kensington has got to be a part of the solution. LaHoya has got to be a part of the solution. Downtown is always a part of the solution. In City Heights, where I live, we’re always a part of the solution. But we’re going to need the public to come together and understand that in order to solve this problem, it’s going to require all of us getting a little bit uncomfortable. And knowing that if we do it right, after you build these facilities no one even knows they’re there. But it is a part of the solution. So yeah, we’ll always have community input, but it between allowing those loudest voices to stop what we know we have to do.
Governor Newsom: (38:01)
Well, I appreciate what I just heard from both. It’s a leadership moment. It’s a moral moment. And we’re going to be held in judgment for progress, results, and real account … All of us have responsibility to do more and better. And so, I really appreciate the sentiment, and I appreciate the promotion of our collective resolve to actually produce results and be inclusive in that process. Not just as the mayor said in the siting, but also be iterative in terms of that outreach after these locations are built. Recognizing that we are all part of a community, and the community’s voice should always be heard that backs this proposal.
Speaker 1: (38:55)
All right, Governor. Gary Worth with [inaudible 00:38:58]. Can you speak of any new component efforts that would have for chronic homelessness and for mental health?
Governor Newsom: (39:07)
Yeah. Well, billions of dollars for mental health. Billions on the housing front, specifically set aside board and care conservatorship language, intensive services, case management, behavioral health integration, the broader behavior health frame. Billions of dollars, new money for securing permanent placements and creating permanent housing solutions to address the most acute population. We have grants, specific grants, to cities and counties to address encampment issues in a responsible and respectful way. And the chronic conditions that we see out in the streets and sidewalks, not just families, but fundamental component. And I’ll close and thank you all for your indulgence, but it picks up on a theme today and is the last question.
Governor Newsom: (40:01)
Is the answer we know to homelessness is not shelter. Shelters solve sleep. Housing and supportive services solve homelessness. And the and is an incredibly important point. Ican made that point as well in his opening comments. And we thank you for your leadership, and support, and the incredible work you’re doing here. And that’s why we’ll look forward to the subsequent announcement we’re making later in the week, framing out an update on our CalAIM strategy. And our once we refer to it, once in a generation strategy to integrate substance abuse, mental health, housing, physical health, and completely reform our payment structure and strategy to substantively address issue of mental health in a way we haven’t done since 19-
Speaker 2: (40:58)
Sir, Governor. Thank you. And really a pleasure to be here and see this is an incredible facility. Thank you, Lindsey and Mia Grace for opening up your home to us. And the issue that housing and health are inextricably linked. The bold proposal we have with CalAIM, we started talking about it nearly two years ago. It’s finally coming to fruition. We’re making market improvements to the concept of CalAIM through the lessons that we learned through the pandemic. This inextricable issue of having housing available, but those services there, not only depending on counties and cities, but calling on our health partners, whether those are clinics and hospitals, health plans to really deliver and partner across the continuum of services. Sure, it might start with some intensive clinical services, but we expect this continuum to be built up across hospitals on the one end, but housing will support that in the future. I think that is the ultimate in the game changer that we’re talking about. I look forward to sharing more on that in the days to come.
Governor Newsom: (42:13)
I just want to close by also acknowledging an incredible leader that in many ways inspired home key, our room key model. By the way, room key has provided support for 36,000 homeless individuals since last April. Another important program that also is being supported in this $12 billion package, as it relates to extending the room key model, so we can transition from room key to home key and make sure that there are placements for people with that federally supported program that will expire later in the year. But I want to … with this proposal in many ways, inspired by her leadership. So, I want to acknowledge that.
Governor Newsom: (42:54)
And then, I’ll just close. Final clarification because it’s important one. The $7 billion of eligible use certainly can provide new housing placements for people all with behavioral health, but three and a half billion is minimally set aside for that purpose. Three and half billion is explicitly set aside for that purpose. 7 billion is the total universe of eligible opportunity, but three and a half billion is the minimum expectation. So, a billion dollars is a historic investment. The state of California made in the past multiple 10 plus increase in investments over the next two years. We are going to see change, and I hope this is well received up and down the state of California across the spectrum. And again, can’t be more thankful to Mayor Gloria and Chair Fletcher. Thank you all very, very much.