$24 Billion Flop: Calif Homeless Crisis Cash Vanishes Without Trace

An audit in California has uncovered some shocking news about the state’s spending on homelessness. It turns out that over the past five years, California has dished out a whopping $24 billion to address the homelessness crisis. However, the state has failed to keep track of whether this colossal amount of money has actually made any dent in the problem.

The audit revealed that a staggering $13.7 billion was funneled into five different programs from 2018-2023, and yet, the state couldn’t provide solid evidence that any real progress had been made. State Auditor Grant Parks didn’t mince words when he wrote to Gov. Gavin Newsom and lawmakers, insisting that California needs to up its game in evaluating the effectiveness of its homelessness programs.

The auditors were summoned to action by Democratic state Sen. Dave Cortese, who was appalled by the lack of data surrounding the state’s efforts. He pointed out that a worrying number of homeless individuals were being shuttled into temporary housing, with only a small fraction managing to secure a permanent home. To make matters worse, nearly half of them ended up back on the streets again.

With California’s homeless population reaching an estimated 171,000 people, representing a whopping 30% of the national total, the audit’s findings ring alarm bells across the state. Despite a 20% increase in homelessness since 2019, the auditors stopped short of calling for funding cuts to the programs.

The audit specifically scrutinized five programs in San Diego and San Jose, and the results were far from positive. Only two of these initiatives were deemed “cost effective,” with the rest failing to provide sufficient data for evaluation. It’s evident that the California Interagency Council on Homelessness dropped the ball in tracking the success of these programs, with errors including deleted records and inflated data.

Republican state Sen. Roger Niello didn’t hold back in his response to the audit’s revelations. He characterized the findings as a “wake-up call,” stressing the urgent need for California to shift its focus to solutions that prioritize self-sufficiency and cost-effectiveness. It’s clear that California’s approach to addressing homelessness is in dire need of a major overhaul.

Written by Staff Reports

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