CALIFORNIA—On February 5, Senate Bill 1011 was introduced on the Senate floor that would make it illegal for people to set up homeless encampments within 500 feet of a public or private school if there is space in a nearby shelter that could offer those living in the encampment an adequate living space. As of February 28, the bill is still in process. There is a committee hearing date on the bill scheduled for April 16, 2024.

Senate Bill 1011 was introduced by Senator Jones
(Principal coauthor: Senator Blakespear) and (Coauthors: Senators Alvarado-Gil, Dahle, Dodd, Grove, Nguyen, Niello, Ochoa Bogh, Seyarto, and Wilk) and (Coauthors: Assembly Members Alanis, Megan Dahle, Davies, Essayli, Flora, Gallagher, Joe Patterson, and Sanchez).

The following came directly from the California Legislative information webpage:

“This bill would prohibit a person from sitting, lying, sleeping, or storing, using, maintaining, or placing personal property upon a street or sidewalk if a homeless shelter, as defined, is available to the person. The bill would also prohibit sitting, lying, sleeping, or storing, using, maintaining, or placing personal property within 500 feet of a public or private school, open space, or major transit stop, as specified.

The bill would specify that a violation of this prohibition is a public nuisance that can be abated and prevented, as specified. The bill would also provide that a violation of the prohibition may be charged as a misdemeanor or an infraction, at the discretion of the prosecutor. The bill would prohibit a person from being found in violation of the bill’s provisions unless provided notice, at least 72 hours before commencement of any enforcement action, as specified. By imposing criminal penalties for a violation of these provisions, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.”

The last official count of Californians living without homes indicates that 181,000 people which is almost a third of the nation’s homeless population reside in the state of California.
Recent reports indicate that with new housing initiatives, Governor Newsom and the state of California have spent nearly $2 billion to reduce homelessness. Due to the rapid increase in the housing market, homelessness is still on the rise.

Governor Newsom has reportedly promised to end homelessness since the time he served as Mayor of San Francisco (2004-2011).

The cost of rent has increased to the point that the leasees can no longer afford to stay.

On February 17, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors announced the results of their study from January 22 through January 31 on at-risk youth and elderly homelessness. The new Pathway Home Initiative will relocate 25 of the 25,000 people experiencing homelessness into interim housing to begin the process of transitioning them into permanent housing.

Twenty-five people at a time is a start with the 25,000 experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County. The 181,000 figure is the number of people recognized as homeless in the state.