California Governor Tries Blaming Trump Admin for Homeless Crisis

|
|
Posted: Dec 27, 2019 8:10 AM
California Governor Tries Blaming Trump Admin for Homeless Crisis

Source: Jeff Lewis/AP Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation

The Office of California Gov. Gavin Newsom touted its efforts in combating the homeless crisis in the state and took shots at the Trump administration even as federal data shows it is responsible for the uptick in the U.S.'s overall homeless population. 

“CA is doing more than ever to tackle the homelessness crisis despite the federal administration's roadblocks,” the office tweeted, pointing to “1B investment including $650M in emergency aid,” new legislation, and expert advice on addressing the issue.

The office linked to a press release from earlier in the month that highlighted the governor opening up hundreds of millions in emergency aid to cities and counties across the state. 

“California is doing more than ever before to tackle the homelessness crisis but every level of government, including the federal government, must step up and put real skin in the game,” Newsom said at the time. “California is making historic investments now to help our communities fight homelessness. But we have work to do and we need the federal government to do its part.”

The pushback comes after President Trump criticized California on Wednesday over its failure to address the homeless problem and threatened that the federal government would have to step in if the state couldn't fix the situation. 

According to a Housing and Urban Development report last week, the rise in homelessness in the U.S. is largely due to California's unchecked problem. 

"While the rest of the country experienced a combined decrease in homelessness in 2019, significant increases in unsheltered and chronic homelessness on the West Coast, particularly California and Oregon, offset those nationwide decreases, causing an overall increase in homelessness of 2.7 percent in 2019,” HUD said in a statement. “Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia reported declines in homelessness between 2018 and 2019, while 21 states reported increases in the number of persons experiencing homelessness. Homelessness in California increased by 21,306 people, or 16.4 percent, which is more than the total national increase of every other state combined.”

The exchange between Newsom and Trump comes after the California governor blamed HUD for his state's homeless problem last week. 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson addressed California's problem Thursday on Fox News, telling Ed Henry he hoped the state would have more "urgency" in addressing the crisis. 

"First of all, you have a significant number of people with disturbances in their mental capacity. We have drug addiction, and we have people who simply cannot afford to live in a place where you have so many regulations that drive up the cost of everything," he said.

He dismissed Sacramento's calls for more HUD vouchers, saying such aid came from a nationwide pool of money that "doesn't grow because you say, 'grow it.'"

He continued, "So, the better thing to do is go and look at the root cause: Why are things they are so expensive? What can be done about them? And then, how can we deal with the mentally ill individuals?"

Washington "recently was given a waiver by HHS so they could use Medicaid dollars for mental illness. California could apply for that same waiver. And, those are the kind of things that have to be done, and they have to be done with the federal, state, local, as well as faith-based, the for-profit, the not-for-profits -- we need to work together to get this done; it can be done, absolutely," Carson added. (Fox News)

Carson then gave a direct message to Newsom, asking him to "put the people first."

"It's Christmastime. Think about what the Bible says," he told Henry. "'He that oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker. He that honoreth with him has mercy on the poor.' Let’s think about some mercy on the poor. Let’s think about real compassion. Let’s not think about ways that we can keep people dependent and in these horrible situations, but how can we liberate them?"