California State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) has introduced a bill that would guarantee a “right to shelter” and provide housing for every homeless person in the state.
The bill, SB 48, declares: “This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that creates a right to shelter for unhoused residents throughout the state.”
According to the bill, the “right to shelter” would include:
(1) A safe place to sleep and keep one’s belongings.
(2) An ability to access the shelter without having to sign up on a daily basis.
(3) An ability to remain with one’s partner.
(4) An ability to access services necessary to stabilize one’s life and transition into supportive housing or permanent housing, including mental health, addiction treatment, and other services.
However, the bill does not explain how the state will pay for the cost of providing the “right to shelter.”
Last year, 114,000 homeless people were estimated to live in California — more than a quarter of the nation’s total, according to the New York Times. Some come from other states to take advantage of generous welfare benefits and better weather.
Wiener’s bill does not explain how it will deal with the problem of migration, especially once shelter is guaranteed (at least by law).
In related news, San Francisco Mayor London Breed insisted on spending a $181 million budget windfall to help the city’s homeless population.
In addition, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a plan Tuesday to build a homeless shelter in the iconic beachfront community of Venice. Many homeless people have migrated to the town, with its infamously bohemian aesthetic and spectacular public beach.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Longtime Venice resident Laura Silagi described how houses sell for $2 million and more in the upscale neighborhood, yet homeless people live in the alley near her home. “It’s embarrassing, it’s tragic, it’s horrible,” Silagi said.
Opponents questioned the shelter’s proposed location near the boardwalk, Abbot Kinney Boulevard’s trendy shops and restaurants, as well as several schools.
Area voters have approved increased sales taxes in recent years to fund assistance to the homeless. The homeless issue threatens to be a major drag on Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s presidential ambitions.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.