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California Lawmakers Propose $2 Billion Homeless Plan Offering Homes, Services

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — State lawmakers are proposing a multibillion-dollar plan to build permanent houses for homeless people across California.

The ambitious and expensive plan is designed to solve the state's homeless crisis.

Joan Burke, the director of Loaves and Fishes, applauds the proposed $2 billion solution.

"It's not a complex problem," she said. "It's called enough housing to go around."

Led by California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, lawmakers say the No Place Like Home bond initiative promises to make the homeless crisis in California a priority.

"We need to provide a simple home for every single person in California," Burke said.

The policy framework amounts to more than $2 billion to construct permanent and short-term housing for homeless people. When combined with other federal and local funds, lawmakers say that's more than 10,000 housing units across the state.

Lawmakers say California has the nation's largest homeless population, with 114,000 people living on the street, and many suffering from mental illness.

The proposal also calls for job training and social services programs to help homeless families become more independent.

Burke says it's an initiative needed for a community that's growing and not going away.

"I don't think any of us feel comfortable when we walk along the streets of Sacramento and we see people in doorways," Burke said.

Senators from both political parties are expected to negotiate the details of the proposal with the Assembly and Gov. Jerry Brown.

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