Senator Jim Beall's Statement on Homeless Encampment Clean-up
SAN JOSE – Senator Jim Beall, D-San Jose, chairman of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, issues this statement regarding the Caltrans clean-up at the junctions of U.S. 101 and Interstate 680 in San Jose:
“I am committed to working with local governments to examine and invest in creative solutions to safely shelter people who are homeless, such as using vacant, safe, and suitable Caltrans properties as sites for temporary housing.
“I have been working with Caltrans to commit to more comprehensive contracts that do more than evict the homeless but channel them to the support services and shelter they need. A joint effort with local governments here has resulted in Caltrans dedicating personnel, for the first time, to create partnerships with non-profit social work organizations in San Jose and other major California cities to connect people living in encampments on freeway properties to services and housing.
“There are no easy answers when it comes to the complex issue of homeless. It will take sustained efforts such as the "No Place Like Home'' legislation, a $2 billion bond to build supportive housing for chronically homeless people with mental illness; Senate Bill 2, which generates an estimated $250 million annually with the majority going to local governments to spur affordable housing; and Senate Bill 3, my proposed $4 billion affordable housing bond that can be used to provide housing for the homeless.
“But one thing is clear -- state and local governments must work together to provide people with the resources to break the cycle of homelessness.’’