Policy committee gives Wilk homeless funding action plan a thumbs-up

SACRAMENTO – Today, Senator Scott Wilk, representing the 21st Senate District, announces the Senate Committee on Human Serves unanimously approved Senate Bill 333 (SB 333), a measure to address California’s homeless crisis by requiring the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council (HCFC) develop and implement a long-term, strategic plan to combat homelessness across the state, complete with specific goals and benchmarks.

“It is heart wrenching to see so many Californians living in miserable conditions on the street. Sadly those numbers include women and children, who are often left without shelter when there is a problem at home,” said Wilk. “If California is serious about helping people get back on their feet and off the street, we have to be equally serious about ensuring homeless dollars are not wasted in the bureaucracy.”

SB 333 stems from a report released last year by the California State Auditor who, at the request of Wilk and Assemblyman Tom Lackey, investigated California’s statewide efforts to solve this homeless problem and found woeful inadequacies.

In 2018, California had 134,000 residents without a home on any given night, according to data provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the homeless population has spiked significantly in the past several years.

“I’m thankful to the Auditor for shedding light on this critical issue and providing a clear and efficient solution,” said Wilk. “This bill will hold state government accountable in its effort to address homelessness and ensure that not a single cent from the taxpayer goes to waste.”

SB 333, co-authored by Assemblyman Tom Lackey. addresses several recommendations from the State Auditor’s report. Specifically, the bill requires the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to develop and implement a statewide, strategic plan to address homelessness in California, including goals and objectives and timelines for achieving them and metrics for measuring their achievements.

SB 333 was double-referred to Human Services and Housing and is scheduled to be heard in Senate Housing on April 2, 2019.