Award-winning journalist Vicki Gonzalez hosts interviews with community leaders, advocates, experts, artists and more to provide background and understanding on breaking news, big events, politics and culture in the Sacramento region and beyond.
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A tent near the Sacramento County Recorder's Office on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
Andrew Nixon / CapRadio
The challenges in California’s “Housing First” funding for a sobriety program for mothers experiencing homelessness and a bill that would amend funding requirements. ‘Political Junkie’ Ken Rudin.
California has devoted a historic amount of funding in recent years toward solving the complex layers of homelessness. The most recent budget homelessness package totals more than $10 billion over two years. But a longstanding non-profit that provides a sobriety and residential program for formerly unhoused women and children says they can't access that government funding due to California's Housing First policy. Adopted in 2016, the mandate leads with a harm reduction philosophy, meaning in part the use of alcohol or drugs in and of itself is not a reason for eviction. That conflicts with Saint John's Program for Real Change, which requires court-mandated sobriety in a housing environment that is entirely women and children. Julie Hirota is the CEO and has been vocal about this policy crack that leaves her non-profit without millions in funding. In response State Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua penned a piece of legislation to amend the policy, but it stalled at the State Capitol this session.
A lot is going on in the political world these days. The January 6th select committee is approaching what is expected to be its final hearing. The past six weeks have investigated the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, focusing on President Trump’s believed inaction, or involvement, while protestors were mobbing the capitol. In the meantime, there are signals from the former president that he might once again challenge President Biden in 2024. But do Americans really want a rematch? Poll numbers suggest otherwise. President Biden is also struggling in the polls as gas prices, inflation, the overall economy, and crime are all impacting his presidency. And rumors are circulating about Gov. Gavin Newsom making a play for 2024 despite his repeated assertions that he would not challenge Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris. To discuss all of this, Insight welcomed back Ken Rudin, a long-time political journalist and host of the Political Junkie podcast, to help put what’s happening into context.
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