California must not repeat old mistakes as it seeks new ways to end homelessness

From CalMatters: Gov. Gavin Newsom is right when he says: “Shelter solves sleep. Housing solves homelessness.”

Shelters are short-term responses, not the long-term solution to California’s homelessness crises. That’s why our policies and resources should focus on the right to housing, not a right to shelter.

Focusing solely on the right to shelter is akin to treating symptoms without curing the disease. It ignores that the homelessness crisis is rooted in a decades-long failure to plan, invest, and sustain affordable housing, especially for people in deep poverty. Diverting investments in permanent affordable housing toward a mandate for shelter beds will lead us to repeat past mistakes.

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