November 30th 2023.
On Nov. 27, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that an additional $299 million in grant money will be helping local governments clear homeless encampments, primarily those near state highways and interstate highways. The money comes from the Encampment Resolution Fund, established through Assembly Bill 140 in 2021.
"Since day one, combating homelessness has been a top priority," Newsom said in a statement. "Encampments are not safe for the people living in them or for community members around them."
The funding is aimed at providing housing options for individuals impacted by homelessness, and approximately half the grant will be used to clear encampments on public roads, highways, and interstate highways owned and maintained by Caltrans, the California Department of Transportation.
"The state is giving locals hundreds of millions of dollars to move people into housing and clean up these persistent and dangerous encampments," Newsom said.
Cities, counties, and continuums of care have until next June to apply for the grant money through the California Interagency Council on Homelessness. The funds will support street outreach teams and foster collaborations between local governments and Caltrans.
Alisa Becerra, Deputy Division Chief of Caltrans, stressed the importance of collaboration, trust, and a shared commitment to creating genuine solutions to aid those in need.
"Through the Encampment Resolution Grants, Caltrans is working to connect people experiencing homelessness on its right-of-way to more secure and stable housing situations offered by local partners," Becerra said.
With this $299 million in grant money, California is making strides in helping those impacted by homelessness. This latest grant adds to the existing $414 million allocated from the state's Encampment Resolution Fund and, since 2021, the state has removed 5,679 encampments.
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