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Community Leaders React To State Spending On Homelessness, Education

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The billion dollar budget initiative in regards to homelessness is music to Noel Kammerman's ears.

He runs a support center for Sacramento's homeless called "Loaves and Fishes."

"The increases that we've seen with homelessness in Sacramento all up and down the state, it's certainly needed," Kammerman said. "It's a very visible issue. There are people all over that need the help that this money will hopefully bring hopeful for the future."

It's a mix of measures to fight homelessness in cities across the state.

READ ALSO: Newsom On Billion Dollar Homeless Budget: 'It's About The State Acknowledging Cities Can't Do This Alone'

The extra money would help the homeless through college programs, workforce grants, and mental health resources.

"Because we are facing a housing crisis, it is resulting in a homelessness crisis," Kammerman said.

Governor Gavin Newsom addressed the issue.

"No one can disagree that we have a housing crisis in the state of California highlighted by the fact that we only built 77,000 housing units last year, which is deplorable," Newsom said.

Part of the package comes with $100 million for mental health services that would address the shortage of qualified mental health professionals. The governor also doles out money for K-12 schools to about $5,000 more per person.

READ ALSO: Gov. Newsom Proposes $213B Spending Plan For California

Funding for special education was also a major priority, with spending increasing by nearly $200 million more than what he proposed in the January budget.

Julian Vasquez Heilig, an education expert at CSU, consulted Newsom on his budget.

He says it may not be what students need to get four-year degrees, but it's a big help.

"Tuition is higher than it's ever been and the average debt for students is up. this budget seeks to address the challenges that millennials have," Vasquez Heilig said.

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