SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A new bill introduced this week aims to get people off the streets by guaranteeing a warm bed for all by providing beds to every homeless person in California.
It’s a crisis on California streets as homelessness is on the rise everywhere.
SB 48, introduced Monday by San Francisco Senator Scott Weiner, plans to bring beds to every person living on the streets.
The bill is still in the preliminary stages, but the ‘Right to Shelter’ policies plan to include a safe place to sleep and keep one’s belongings, an ability to access shelter without having to sign up on a daily basis, and an ability to remain with one’s partner.
“I don’t think they should have to spend one night out hungry or cold or anything,” said a West Sacramento man.
It’s unclear how much the plan would cost or where the money would come from.
“Probably taxpayers,” said business owner Andrew Stanley, “Who else is gonna pay for it?”
Sacramento’s temporary shelter, which houses only 200 people, costs about $1,700 per person a month.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are about 130,000 homeless people on any given night in California. If you do the math, that could mean nearly $228 million a month statewide.
“Some people worry about the taxes, but if it’s going towards something like that, I think it would be a good thing,” said Sacramento resident Rob Mandala.
One Sacramento homeless woman says she’d love a warm bed. “Sounds better to me. That’s all I can say,” she said.
But some say they’d rather be on the streets.
Homeless Vietnam Veteran James West said, “I would [rather stay on the streets], but I’m not speaking for nobody else cause a lot of people does need help really and they’re asking for it.”
Senator Weiner plans to create a coalition to develop the details of this bill and hopes it will be complete sometime next year.