west coast leaders explore regional solutions to homelessness

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The Co-Chair of Gov. Newsom’s new Commission on Homelessness and Supportive Housing joined other top West Coast business, government and nonprofit leaders this week for a deep dive discussion hosted by the Bay Area Council and McKinsey & Co. that focused on building regional solutions to the vexing problem. Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who heads the Governor’s commission with Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, gave remarks following a series of small-group discussions that zeroed in on a range of innovative strategies to prevent homelessness and quickly move people out of homelessness. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf also participated, along with leaders from around the Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego and Seattle.

The four-hour ideation session came just two days ahead of the first meeting of the homelessness commission that Ridley-Thomas and Steinberg co-chair. The meeting opened with an update on a seminal report—Bay Area Homelessness: A Regional View of a Regional Crisis—the Bay Area Council and McKinsey released in April that provided the first regional examination of the homeless problem and proposed a number of solutions to leverage greater regional collaboration among the hodgepodge of isolated local programs and services arrayed against the problem.

Break-out sessions focused on core tools used to fight homelessness, including evidence-based approaches, regional approaches to prevention and diversion, leveraging private and philanthropic funds, and expanding housing for extremely low income households. The conversations where rich in solutions-oriented dialogue, made possible by the diversity of thought at the event. The Council is excited to welcome Mayor Steinberg to a meeting on Monday to hear his thoughts on right to shelter legislation. To learn more about the Bay Area Council’s Homelessness Task Force, please contact Vice President Adrian Covert.

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