Saffron Restaurants reservation Newsom touts California as ‘national model’ on homelessness – California

Newsom touts California as ‘national model’ on homelessness – California


(The Center Square) – California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California is a “national model” for homelessness as he announced the availability of new funding for mental health and substance abuse treatment. California’s homeless population stood at 181,399 as of January 2023 and is the largest in the country. Using similar, recent state programs as a cost approach, Prop. 1 can very well meet the governor’s claims.

Although ongoing treatment costs may prove cost-effective, publicly funded housing projects in California have historically far exceeded initial expectations. This means that even though Prop. 1 treatment programs can ultimately be of high value compared to the up to $50,000 in local services, usually through first responders such as police, firefighters and paramedics, a homeless person on the street tends to use each year.

Proposal 1, which narrowly passed by just 28,000 votes out of 7.2 million cast, created a $6.4 billion bond to build 11,150 new behavioral health beds and 26,700 outpatient treatment slots, and fund more housing for the homeless. The 3.3% interest rate on the 30-year bond, the rate the state secured in the most recent general obligation bond issuance, would cost $6.3 billion, bringing the total cost of the bond to $12.7 billion. billion dollars.

About $1 billion from Prop. 1 will go to housing homeless veterans, while another $1 billion will go to homeless people with behavioral health conditions. The remaining $4.4 billion is to be spent on a mix of treatment and housing in the form of grants administered under the Behavioral Health Services Act. Proposition 1 was renamed the Mental Health Services Act, a tax on income over $1 million that raises billions of dollars each year and funds county-run mental health programs, and requires counties to spend 30% of their MHSA funding on housing for people with behavioral problems. health conditions.

So it appears that Prop. 1 will house 11,150 of the neediest individuals in treatment facilities, while those in outpatient settings will live in county-run housing elsewhere.

Prop. 1 was passed as a linked funding mechanism for SB 34, a bill that expanded conservatorship, when the state appoints someone to oversee a person’s care and needs, to include those who cannot support themselves as due to serious substance abuse or mental health problems. . While SB 34 created a means for California to force people with serious mental health or addiction issues into care, Prop. 1 intended to expand the facilities available to house the state’s homeless.

Assuming the 37,850 expected Prop. 1 treatment slots are provided with housing, however, this means that each treatment slot will cost approximately $169,000 to bring online, not including ongoing treatment costs. If you include the interest on the bond, each slot costs $336,000 to bring online.

Both prices remain in the same range as Project Homekey, a state project that converts motels into permanent homeless shelters and supportive housing. Because Homekey provides many of the expected social services, such as mental health and addiction treatment, comparable operating costs of $85 per individual per day could cover Prop.’s ongoing facility costs. 1 approach.

Using this estimate, it would maintain the Prop. 1 slots created cost approximately $1.2 billion per year, or $31,025 for each individual treated. As Prop. 1 exclusively addresses those already homeless and fully includes housing, it would be significantly cheaper to operate than existing systems, such as in San Francisco, which spends about $70,000 per shelter bed per year.

Expanding Prop. 1 to cover the state’s entire homeless population of 181,399 could cost $31 billion to build against Prop. 1 rates, and approximately $5.6 billion in annual treatment. For context, California has spent $24 billion on homelessness programs at the state level alone over the past five years, not including billions more in county and city spending. This suggests that Prop. 1 could be a more cost-effective solution than the state’s existing homelessness efforts.

Although Prop. 1 treatment may be cost-effective, the initial costs of creating treatment capacity may ultimately be significantly higher than expected. In Los Angeles, housing for the homeless with a $1.2 billion bond would cost up to $414,000 per unit, but has since risen to $548,000, or about the average sales price of a condominium in the city. The city’s Inside Safe program, which houses homeless people in hotels while providing wraparound services including mental health and substance abuse treatment, costs $17,000 per beneficiary per month, or about six and a half times more than Homekey, which points out that effective local management will be a key variable in healthcare development. Prop. 1 treatment costs.