OAKLAND, CA – Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf to a historic task force to advise the governor’s administration on solutions to address the state’s homelessness epidemic. Oakland Mayor Schaaf is among 13 leaders across the state who will determine best practices to prevent homelessness and guide local governments as they develop regional plans to address the crisis.
“I’m honored for the Governor’s appointment to work on our state’s most urgent humanitarian crisis,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said. “No one city or person can magically fix the large systemic problems that lead to homelessness. But all cities, and all leaders across California, can work together to develop shared solutions to improve the lives of our most vulnerable residents.”
In October, Mayor Schaaf launched the innovative Keep Oakland Housed program that prevents homelessness by offering emergency financial, legal, and social support to families facing evictions. The program has kept more than 500 Oakland families from losing their homes and inspired Sen. Nancy Skinner’s “Keep California Housed” legislation.
In January 2017, the city opened the first Community Cabins site to offer shelter and social services to homeless residents in a secured and safe setting. To date, 50 percent of participants who successfully exited a Cabin Community now live in permanent affordable housing. In June, Oakland opened the first RV Safe Parking Site for residents living in their vehicles in East Oakland.
The Governor’s advisory group will host the first three regional meetings starting next month: August in the Central Valley, September in Southern California and October in Northern California. Exact dates, locations and working group presenters will be announced closer to meeting times.
Last month Gov. Newsom signed his first state budget, which includes a historic $1 billion investment to the fight against homelessness. This investment will allow Oakland to expand on the innovative Cabin Community Program and nearly double shelter capacity. Advisors will collaborate with local and regional governments around the state’s best practices and strategies to increase the production of Navigation Centers, positive housing exists, and information sharing.
The full list of advisors includes seven elected officials and six institutional representatives:
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Co-Chair
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Co-Chair
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
Fresno City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria
San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher
Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez
Arcata City Councilmember Sofia Pereira
County Welfare Directors Association of California Executive Director Frank Mecca
Corporation for Supportive Housing Associate Director Sharon Rapport
Western Center on Law and Poverty Policy Advocate Anya Lawler
County Behavioral Health Directors Association Executive Director Michelle Cabrera
Former U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Director Philip Mangano
Former Department of Social Services Director Will Lightbourne