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Homelessness Crisis Gets Relief From California Gov. Jerry Brown’s New Budget

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Anthony Rodriguez, 48, is homeless and camps in North Sacramento.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The California budget signed on Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown includes several pieces intended to help address the state’s homelessness crisis.

That includes $500 million for cities, counties and regional-planning organizations that work on housing and services known as “continuums of care.”

The budget gives the Brown administration until the end of January to distribute the first part of that money — and until the end of May for the second chunk.

But the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency says the state plans to distribute a Notice of Funding Availability this summer and hopes to start distributing the money this fall.

There’s some procedural things we have to do to make sure that the money is going to those jurisdictions and continuums of care who need it, and to also make sure there’s some accountability for how the money is distributed,” spokesman Russ Heimerich said on Wednesday.

A lot of it will depend on the responses from the local governments and continuums of care to that NFA, but we are prepared to move quickly,” he said.

In addition, the governor’s signature now sends a measure to the November ballot that would free up $2 billion in bonds that have been stalled in court.

The money would go toward new housing projects with built-in mental health services for chronically homeless people.

That funding for the “No Place Like Home” program was first approved by the Legislature in 2016.

CapRadio is joining nearly 100 news organizations across the country to focus on stories about our homeless community as part of the U.S. Homeless Project.

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