Council Co-Sponsoring Game-Changing Legislation Aimed at Unsheltered Homelessness

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The Bay Area Council and its partners at SPUR and DignityMoves joined Senator Josh Becker and San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan at a press conference Monday (March 4) to announce new legislation (SB 1395) to legitimize and facilitate the construction of tens of thousands of interim supportive housing units to address the state’s crippling unsheltered homelessness crisis. See coverage of the event from Mercury NewsKTVU, and ABC7 (at minute ~6).

For too long, California has considered homeless encampments to be the unfortunate but acceptable cost of prioritizing expensive permanent housing above more scalable alternatives. That strategy has failed, and in that failure we’ve needlessly lost thousands of lives–to the elements, to accidents, and to criminal violence. A greater share of homeless residents in California live outdoors than in any other state because we provide fewer places to come indoors than any other state. The longer a homeless resident is warehoused beneath our overpasses, on our sidewalks, or along our riverbeds, the more trauma they endure, and the more likely they are to develop substance use or psychiatric disorders. 

Basic humanity compels us to do more to bring people indoors, save lives, and restore access to public spaces. SB 1395 will help address this crisis by empowering cities with more tools and less red tape to quickly build high quality, scalable, interim housing solutions needed to bring people indoors with dignity. The Bay Area Council is grateful for Senator Becker’s leadership and encourages our members to prepare a letter of support for the bill for the upcoming committee hearings. Please see template here and return to Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Adrian Covert at

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