1,200 new small homes will soon be delivered to LA, and 3 other cities-Governor says there is now $1 Billion in funding


Governor Gavin Newsom recently revealed a billion-dollar plan to help tackle the growing homelessness crisis in California. This "Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention (HHAP) Round 4" funding is intended to provide much-needed financial aid for local communities. [i]

Initially, local governments aimed to reduce homelessness without shelter by 2%. In response, Governor Newsom put a stop to their funding last year. But now, the plan has changed, and the goal is to reduce homelessness across the state by 15% by 2025. [i]

Groundbreaking of the Transbay Transit Center ProjectPhoto byNancy Pelosi from San Francisco, CA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Governor declared that tiny homes would be supplied to four major cities in California—Los Angeles, San Diego County, San Jose, and Sacramento—to aid people who are homeless and are located in encampments. These dwellings are provided at no cost and prepared for residents to move in. [ii]

Each locality in California will independently determine where the 500 tiny homes allocated to Los Angeles, the 350 assigned to Sacramento, the 200 assigned to San Jose, and the 150 given to San Diego County will be placed. In total, 1,200 tiny homes are being distributed across the four localities. [ii]

In 2021, it was estimated that over 161,000 Californians had been homeless at some point during the first months of 2020. Most of these people lived in shelters or temporary housing, while the rest lived on the streets, in makeshift dwellings, or in other unsuitable places. [iii]

In 2022, the Regional Task Force on Homelessness presented the key findings from the 2022 WeAllCount Point-in-Time Count. This survey offers us a brief glimpse into the number of people in San Diego who are living in emergency shelters, transitional housing, safe havens, or outside on the streets and riverbeds. [iv]

The 2022 Point-in-Time Count determined that at least 8,427 people in San Diego County are without homes, a 10% rise from 2020. It is imperative to take into account that this is a minimum figure. [iv]

Maxine was kind enough to share her experiences living on the streets of San Diego County. She and her eight-year-old daughter had spent two weeks living out of their Dodge Durango, their only shelter. [v]

During the conversation, Maxine detailed the hardships she faced during the two weeks, such as having to find a safe place to park the car every night, not having access to clean water, and having to make difficult decisions, such as how to ration out their small supply of food. [v]

Skid Row Campers in downtown Los AngelesPhoto byRuss Allison Loar, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Maxine also described the fear and anxiety she experienced when protecting her daughter, as they were vulnerable to potential danger while living on the streets. Her story was heartbreaking and inspiring, giving us valuable insight into the realities of homelessness in San Diego County. [v]

Maxine asked not to be photographed out of fear that her current living situation may be remembered and used against her. She and her daughter now have a small studio apartment, but even with the help they are receiving, Maxine admits that life is still challenging, and she hopes she never has to be in this kind of situation ever again. [v]


[i] Office of Governor Gavin Newsom, Governor Newsom Announces $1 Billion in Homelessness Funding, Launches State's Largest Mobilization of Small Homes (16 Mar 2023)

[ii] Id.

[iii] California Budget & Policy Center, Who is Experiencing Homelessness in California? (Feb. 2022)

[iv] San Diego Regional Task Force on Homelessness, 2022 Point in Time Count Data Released (23 May 2022)

[v] G. Maxine. Interview. Conducted by C. Gilchrist. (16 Mar 2023)

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