OLIVIA RONDEAU CONTRIBUTOR
Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that medical doctors should be able to prescribe housing in the same way they prescribe medication to sick people Wednesday during his 2020 State of the State Address.
“Health care and housing can no longer be divorced. After all, what’s more fundamental to a person’s well-being than a roof over their head?” Newsom asked during the address. “Doctors should be able to write prescriptions for housing the same way they do for insulin and antibiotics.” The crowd erupted in applause. (RELATED: California Gov Gavin Newsom Says ‘Hyper-Masculinity’ Will Cause Republicans To Become A ‘Third-Party’ In 10 To 15 Years)
Doctors should be able to write prescriptions for housing the same way they do for insulin or antibiotics.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) February 21, 2020
“Why not?” Newsom continued. “That’s the aim of CalAIM, transforming Medi-Cal as we know it, backed by a $695 million budget request to make this real.”
“Of course, the effectiveness of all of this hinges on an individual being capable of accepting help, to get off the streets and into treatment in the first place,” Newsom added on. “Some, tragically, are not. That’s why we need better legal tools, ones that allow local governments, health providers, and law enforcement to more effectively help people access the treatment they need.”
“California’s behavioral health laws may have been ahead of their time, but today, call out for reform. We must tailor these policies to reflect the realities of street homelessness today, which are so different than they were 50 or even 15 years ago when these laws were enacted,” Newsom said.
Newsom, getting deep: “Doctors should be able to write prescriptions for housing the same way they do for insulin and antibiotics. Why not?” pic.twitter.com/8BD7eSkla8
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 19, 2020
California is currently experiencing a simultaneous homelessness crisis and housing shortage. As of January 2019, California had an estimated 151,278 people experiencing homelessness on any given day, according to The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a report in December that showed homelessness is on the rise in the U.S. and that the state of California is the main force driving up the rate. (RELATED: Gov Gavin Newsom Struggles To Stay In Control As California Goes Dark, Wildfires Spread, And Gas Prices Spike)
“Homelessness in California increased by 21,306 people, or 16.4 percent, which is more than the total national increase of every other state combined,” stated HUD in their report.
“As we look across our nation, we see great progress, but we’re also seeing a continued increase in street homelessness along our West Coast where the cost of housing is extremely high,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “In fact, homelessness in California is at a crisis level and needs to be addressed by local and state leaders with crisis-like urgency. Addressing these challenges will require a broader, community-wide response that engages every level of government to compassionately house our fellow citizens who call the streets their home.”