Homelessness is one of California’s major issues and has been so for years. Currently, over 160,000 of the 39 million residents of California are facing homelessness, and as of 2020, 72% of this homeless population were completely unsheltered. Though this is only 0.4% of the population, it still raises concern as those figures alone account for 28% of the country’s homeless population.
Some of the contributors for homelessness are substance abuse, mental health challenges, employment discrimination and many more. However, one of the major factors responsible for the rise of homelessness in California is the shortage of affordable housing. Over 6% of the state’s population spends more than 30% of their income on rent payments, while 3% of low-income workers spend more than half of their salaries on rent. This leaves these residents with little money left for everything else and hence, on the brink of homelessness. A study conducted by McKinsey Global Institute in 2016 concluded that in 2025, California would need about 3.5 million units by the year 2025 to fix this problem.
Several programs have been set up by the state’s government to intervene and provide residents with homes. Still, they have mostly seemed not to have had much effect. From 2019 till now, the rate of homelessness in California has increased which shows the sense of urgency with which this should be addressed. However, notable progress has been made since the government became more involved in creating a solution to this problem in 2018. One such achievement is the funding the 2020-2021 governor’s homelessness plan helped in:
Meanwhile, the 2021-2022 governor’s homelessness plan is still in progress, while proposals are already being made for 2022-2023. There are also local, state, and federal programs that have been set up to give grants to nonprofit shelters and members of low-income families.
While we anticipate the actualization of all the efforts to eradicate this problem, we are seeking immediate solutions by putting out information about the homeless shelters in the state.
Homeless shelters are temporary housing solutions that provide food and sleeping space for homeless people. There are currently 691 homeless shelters in many cities in California. Between 2020 and 2021, 16,000 extra beds were added to the shelters, and an additional 3541 homeless people in California became sheltered. When looking after homeless person, it is best to contact the hotline for your location to get started. To be taken into a homeless shelter in California, one must first complete an assessment with which they will determine the provisions to be made available. Unfortunately, as there are more homeless people than shelters, shelter spaces are offered by selecting those who need it more and prioritizing them.
The California government also has provisions for homeless residents and others on the brink of homelessness. These provisions are the following.