SALINAS, Calif., (KION-TV)- As people start preparing to go to the polls for the primary elections in March, one proposition that will be on the ballot is aiming at helping the state's homeless population with more shelter and services.
In March 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom proposed a strategy to reform the state's behavioral health system.
The introduction of Proposition 1 is designed to refocus the money and prioritize California's mental health needs and substance issues.
“The people of the state of California, we're asking them to consider with the ballot initiative the opportunity," Newsom said. "That's the issue of the integration of housing and the supportive services that we need to be stacked on that housing to stabilize individuals that are in acute states of psychosis, people that are self-medicating with drug or alcohol addictions.”
Newsom is promoting Proposition 1 and argues that it will help combat the states issues of homelessness and addictions.
The County of Monterey would issue $6.4 billion of those funds to go towards treatment infrastructure that would help build recovery centers for 6,800 Californias to receive behavioral health treatment.
Katy Eckert, who is the County of Monterey's Behavioral Health Bureau Chief said, during a Board of Supervisors meeting “Even with the bond measure proposes to build another 10 thousand treatment beds and supportive housing beds there would still be insufficient housing to accommodate the existing homeless population in California.”
The Legislative Analyst Office said in a board report that they estimate that as of January 2022 there were 121,000 people who experience homelessness in California and 10,000 are Veterans.
The board report also showed to help with those experiencing homelessness and addiction issues the state would build 4,000 housing units with 2,000 set aside to Veterans.
If Proposition 1 gets approved by voters, the measure would not go into full effect until 2026.