Gov. Newsom in San Bernardino pledges more support for homeless crisis

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom made a stop in San Bernardino to discuss solutions to the state's chronic homeless problem.

"We are seeing the unsheltered homeless population at record numbers. It is not even the overall population. It is how the population is manifesting on the streets and sidewalks the tents the encampments," said Newsom.

During the roundtable discussion the governor heard from local officials, service providers and former homeless individuals about what is working in San Bernardino County.

"Until I actually asked for help when I was hospitalized at Arrowhead Medical Regional Center that was the first time in years I had a place to shower regularly without getting asked to leave," said Michelle Padilla.

Padilla spoke about becoming homeless through mental health problems and substance abuse. She says it wasn't until she was hospitalized that she learned about services. Padilla credits the programs she received for getting her off the streets and a job.

"I was able to go to an EDD office and find myself a position while I was in the homeless shelter," said Padilla.

Atiya Willis also talked about the need for affordable housing. The Army veteran said she and her three children became homeless when their housing fell through. She credits services provided by the county and the VA for helping her find a home.

"Now me and my children are stable in this housing. We've been there for two years and able to make ends meet with my income," said Willis.

Newsom has pledged more money to address and solve the state's homeless problem, including $500 million for building emergency shelters, centers and supportive housing and $100 million to expand the state's Whole Person Care pilot program.

"We will be providing an unprecedented amount of resources and we are here for the long haul, not just this year. We have to be here for many many years if we are going to turn this around," said Newsom.

Newsom hinted during the meeting he will soon be announcing the first-ever state adviser council to address homelessness and appoint a state-level secretary to oversee it.
Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.