California’s homelessness programs need to deliver better results – Press Enterprise


Don’t miss this deal

Standard Digital Access

A soaked homeless encampment sits along the Los Angeles River in Sherman Oaks during the storm on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

How can California solve its homeless crisis if it has no idea how current programs are working?

As required by the Legislature, California State Auditor Grant Parks on April 9 published an audit, “Homelessness in California.” It’s timely because voters just approved Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Proposition 1, $6.4 billion in bonds for mental health, housing and other programs for the homeless.

Some facts from the audit: The number of homeless in the state jumped 53% from 2013 to 2023, to more than 180,000. Nine state agencies have “collectively spent billions of dollars” the past five years administering “at least 30 programs.” The agency involved in coordinating this patchwork of programs is the California Interagency Council on Homelessness.

What could go wrong?

According to the auditor, the interagency council’s action plan was “not aligned” with state goals on reducing homelessness. It has not produced “accurate, complete, and comparable financial and outcome information from homelessness programs.” And it “has neither ensured the accuracy of the information in the state data system, nor has it used this information to evaluate homelessness programs’ success.”

Parks looked more closely at five state programs. Two were deemed “likely cost-effective,” Homekey, which expands housing for the homeless, and the CalWORKS Housing Support Program, financial assistance for housing stability.

View more on
Press Enterprise


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.