Newsom advances $3.3bn for mental health centers and homeless housing

Early funding from a plan to build treatment clinics and centers is made available as the state deals with homelessness crisis.

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday, that $3.3bn of the new state mental health bond would be available ahead of schedule for the construction and rehabilitation centers. The state is grappling with an increasing homelessness crisis.

This is the first money pot from a ballot initiative designed to help cities and counties, tribes, and developers build and renovate clinics and treatment centers, among other things. It was passed by a razor thin margin in March, after Newsom put all his political weight behind the measure and hailed it as an essential part of California’s efforts to combat homelessness.

The bill authorizes the state’s borrowing of nearly $6,4bn for the construction of 4,350 housing units. It also requires counties to spend the two-thirds money collected from the millionaires tax on housing and programs to help unhoused individuals with severe mental illness or substance abuse issues. The money application period will begin in July.


Newsom said that he wants local governments to get building as soon as possible. He was standing in front a construction project near Redwood City which would create 117 beds for psychiatric patients.

It’s time for you to get your work done. Newsom stated that it was time to do the work. We’ve delivered the reforms you asked for. Now it’s time to deliver.”

The Democratic Governor, who is a surrogate for Joe Biden’s reelection campaign and widely believed to have presidential ambitions, has made homelessness his top priority. He also pledged to transform the mental health system in California. Homelessness is one of California’s most frustrating problems. Newsom spent billions to help people get off the street, but there hasn’t been any dramatic change in Los Angeles or other major cities.

California is home to nearly one-third of all homeless people in the United States. Approximately 171,000 Californians need housing. With a current inventory 5,500 behavioral beds, the state needs 8,000 additional units to treat addiction and mental health issues.

Newsom’s grant announcement could be used to fund a variety of programs such as short-term crisis centers, addiction programs and outpatient services, or locked treatment beds. The state will assess the projects in light of local service gaps.

“Voluntary care always works best, but we sometimes need a bit more,” said Susan Eggman of the funding that could be used to lock up treatment beds. “Don’t be afraid to say yes.” “Let’s say it.”

Some county officials and social providers opposed the proposal, fearing that the new funding structure from the tax on millionaires would threaten programs which are not only focused on housing or drugs treatment but also prevent people becoming homeless. Disability rights activists were also worried that the new investment would result in more people locked up against their wishes.

Officials from the administration had previously stated that the state would streamline its application process to the maximum extent possible. However, there will not be any set deadlines for the completion of proposed projects. Officials said that some proposals, like those for renovating existing facilities, may be ready in a matter of months. Newsom said that the state will approve the proposals this fall, so the money can be distributed to local governments as early as next year.

Mike Callagy is the executive officer of San Mateo County. He said that bond funding would allow counties to provide needed services faster.

He said, “Now we can even dream bigger.”

Newsom, the man who last year pushed for the new law to make it easier for people with addiction and mental health issues to enter treatment, also attacked counties on Tuesday for not implementing the program, even though the state gave most counties until December to start their efforts. According to the Governor’s Office, eight counties implemented the program last year. They have also received 450 requests in the past six months.

Newsom stated that “the state’s vision is realized locally.” “We cannot do this job.” “They need to do their jobs.”

By the end of the year, bond funding will be available for housing. The funding of nearly $2bn will be used to expand the state’s existing housing initiatives. This includes a $3.5bn project to turn rundown motels in homeless housing.