As mayors of big cities in California, we cannot ignore an unacceptable fact which the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated. Alongside one of the greatest concentrations of wealth and innovation in the world, thousands of people sleep outdoors on sheets of cardboard or in flimsy tents. The problem shocks the conscience and worsens by the day.
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If we think it’s important to reduce the growing number of people experiencing homelessness on our streets, why don’t we require it? The Governor’s Council of Regional Homeless Advisors, composed in part by local officials, emphasized the need to create a legally enforceable mandate requiring state and local governments to make progress toward getting people off the streets.