NEWSOM: $400M would make SF homeless problem worse

Posted on August 29, 2018 3:29 am

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom told Bay Area business leaders that boosting the amount San Francisco spends on homeless programs by hundreds of millions of dollars would only exacerbate the problem.

“Put another $400 million in the homeless problem and I promise you this: Your problem is going to get a lot worse,” the Democratic candidate for governor said Tuesday.

Newsom later explained that he was making a pitch for a regional approach to solving problems.

“You’re not going to solve this homeless problem in San Francisco,” he said. “It’s not a San Francisco issue; it’s a regional issue.”

Speaking to reporters after his hour-long discussion with about Bay Area Council members, Newsom said he wasn’t opposed to San Francisco increasing its spending on homelessness, but that the city can’t solve the problem by itself.

The homeless population “is not static,” he said, and most of the people on the streets are not San Francisco residents. Many, he said, are not even Californians.

Asked if he thought San Francisco’s spending on programs attracted more homeless people, Newsom noted that when BART was shut down by strikes twice in 2013, the number of “panhandlers” in the city declined noticeably.

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