“Further efforts to criminalize or otherwise harm people experiencing homelessness are unconscionable.”
Following reports that President Donald Trump is pushing for a “major crackdown” on homelessness in California that could include destroying existing encampments and moving homeless people into government-backed facilities, state lawmakers and progressive housing advocates said the administration’s proposed steps are cruel, politically motivated, and would do nothing to address the very real crisis Trump has exacerbated.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Trump ordered White House officials to begin work on a “sweeping effort” to address the homelessness crisis in California. As part of the new initiative, Trump administration officials from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Justice Department visited California this week for meetings and tours.
“Among the ideas under consideration are razing existing tent camps for the homeless, creating new temporary facilities, and refurbishing existing government facilities,” the Post reported, citing officials familiar with the effort.
“Housing experts say homelessness in California has risen alongside housing and rental prices,” the Post noted. “That problem has been exacerbated by cuts to federal support for housing programs.”
Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, said the early stages of Trump’s effort, as well as his past policy moves, demonstrate that the White House is “clearly not acting in good faith to end homelessness.”
“They’ve proposed drastically shrinking or eliminating federal programs that keep the lowest-income people affordably housed; tripling rents for the lowest-income subsidized residents and raising rents for all others; evicting 100,000 people, including 55,000 American children, from subsidized housing; and allowing homeless shelters to discriminate and refuse shelter to transgender and other LGBTQ people,” said Yentel.
“The solution to homelessness is affordable homes,” Yentel added, “not further criminalization, punishing poor people for their poverty, sweeping people experiencing homelessness into increasingly unsafe areas, or warehousing people in untenable and unsustainable conditions.”
Further efforts to criminalize or otherwise harm people experiencing homelessness are unconscionable. The solution to homelessness is affordable homes – not, as Trump is considering, criminalization, homeless sweeps into increasingly unsafe areas…1/ https://t.co/Ophe9oWIyx
— Diane Yentel (@dianeyentel) September 10, 2019
Bob Erlenbusch, executive director of the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness, told USA Today that Trump’s plan would effectively create “internment camps for people experiencing homelessness,” a fear that was echoed on social media.
— Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) September 10, 2019
This is chilling. @realDonaldTrump wants to “crackdown” on homelessness and put people into “government facilities.” We’ve buried refugee children held hostage in his damn facilities. What inhumane treatment will he sanction for the unhoused? https://t.co/ANg3TrXkX7
— Mike Bonin (@mikebonin) September 10, 2019
California Democrats joined the chorus condemning Trump’s proposed “crackdown,” accusing the president of feigning concern for homelessness for political purposes while failing to put forth solutions that would mitigate the crisis.
“The president has no interest in hearing from actual policy experts. He’s just playing to his base,” tweeted Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.). “We need to increase Section 8 vouchers + the Housing Tax Credit to expand access to affordable housing.”
California State Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco said “rounding up homeless people into federal facilities won’t solve the problem.”
“We need to get people the help they need,” said Wiener, “including shelter, housing, and other services.”
Nathan Click, spokesman for California Gov. Gavin Newsom, said the state is “ready to talk” if Trump is “willing to put serious solutions, with real investment, on the table.”
“He could start by ending his plans to cut food stamps, gut healthcare for low-income people, and scare immigrant families from accessing government services,” said Click.
Trump rages at Sally Yates minutes before she testifies in the Senate: Greatest political crime of the century!
President Donald Trump lashed out at former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates on Wednesday, just minutes before she was set to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Sally Yates has zero credibility,” Trump tweeted, as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was delivering his opening statement.
“She was a part of the greatest political crime of the Century, and ObamaBiden knew EVERYTHING! Sally Yates leaked the General Flynn conversation? Ask her under oath. Republicans should start playing the Democrats game!“
Graham is accusing former Justice Department officials of abusing their power by surveilling some Trump’s associates during their investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.
Trump makes pitch on Catholic TV: ‘Catholics like their Second Amendment so I saved the Second Amendment’
President Donald Trump this week made a pitch to Catholic voters based on his assertion that he "saved the Second Amendment."
In a Tuesday interview with the Catholic TV network EWTV, correspondent Tracy Sabol asked Trump if he had a message for Catholic voters.
"Well, I think anybody having to do with, frankly, religion, but certainly the Catholic Church, you have to be with President Trump when it comes to pro-life, when it comes to all of the things, these people are going to take all of your rights away, including Second Amendment," the president said, "because, you know, Catholics like their Second Amendment. So I saved the Second Amendment."
‘Jim Acosta is a fake reporter!’ Trump angrily denies reports that he ‘still doesn’t get’ coronavirus threat
CNN's Jim Acosta must have struck a nerve with President Donald Trump.
Trump angrily denied Acosta's reporting that some members of the president's coronavirus task force were alarmed that Trump kept trying to change the subject during Tuesday's meeting about the deadly pandemic, and sources familiar with the White House meeting feared he still doesn't understand the gravity of the situation.
“He still doesn’t get it,” the source said. “He does not get it.”
As some members of the task force tried to stress the dire nature of the situation to the president during the meeting, the source said Trump repeatedly attempted to change the subject.