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California Nears $2 Billion Plan To House Its Homeless

File / Rich Pedroncelli / AP
 

File / Rich Pedroncelli / AP

(AP) — California lawmakers are putting the finishing touches on a plan to provide up to $2 billion to help cities build permanent shelters to get mentally ill people off the street.

The measure comes as the nation's largest homeless population approaches what some officials are calling a tipping point.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported more than 115,000 homeless Californians last year. One in four was living with a serious mental illness.

Gov. Jerry Brown has resisted declaring a state of emergency, an approach Hawaii and Seattle have taken to free up funds and assistance.

He favors the massive funding proposal for local governments to build housing for people living on the streets with psychological disorders. The money hinges on counties providing additional services for everyone they house.

The Legislature could consider the measure later this week.