We all know that California has a homeless crisis. Our state has more than 161,000 homeless individuals, which accounts for more than 30% of the nation’s homeless population.
Over the past four years, our state spent more than $20 billion to combat this crisis. Yet with all that money spent, the homeless situation only got worse.
There is a growing concern about accountability in how this money was spent. Legislators from both parties are calling for an audit of the programs to determine where the money went and the effectiveness of the programs.
This audit request comes amid concerns of mismanagement and lack of transparency in how the funds have been used.
A growing group of frustrated Californians is questioning the impact of the programs and whether they have successfully reduced homelessness or have only served to line the pocketbook of some while worsening the problem. This lack of accountability in using these funds has only deepened our distrust.
As our state grapples with this issue, transparency and accountability in the spending of public funds must be front and center.
An audit of homeless programs is a critical first step in the right direction and can provide insights into where the money has gone and what needs to be done to address the homelessness crisis. If specific programs are working, let’s do more of it. If they are not working, then eliminate them.
Only by ensuring accountability and transparency can California effectively address this growing homeless problem and provide meaningful programs and support to those in need.
CalMatters wrote: “That discrepancy between what’s being spent in Sacramento and what voters see — tent cities in their neighborhoods — has many legislators clamoring for an accounting. They have instructed the state auditor to embark on a sweeping project that will analyze multiple state homelessness programs — as well as focus on homelessness spending in two cities — in an attempt to improve California’s response.”