While Skeptical, California Leaders Open to President’s Help With Homeless Issue

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SACRAMENTO -- Members of President Donald Trump’s administration flew to Los Angeles Tuesday to talk about solutions for the homeless issue in California -- but the gesture was met with some skepticism.

For Edward Randle, homelessness is nothing new, it’s inherited. His parents were also homeless.

“If you ain't moving them to no housing, putting a roof over their heads, just might as well let them be,” he told FOX40.

By now, Randle said he is used to politicians in California talking about homelessness while his life has not gotten any better.

Now, the entire state, with a focus on San Francisco and Los Angeles, may be getting help with the homeless crisis from an unlikely source.

“You take a look at what’s going on with San Francisco, it’s terrible,” President Trump said on Fox News in July. “So, we’re looking at it very seriously. We may intercede.”

“I’m a bit wary because anytime this administration talks about helping vulnerable people it turns out to be just the opposite,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “But I think we have to be open to the possibility that there may be a genuine effort to help here.”

Mayor Steinberg chairs a statewide commission on homelessness. He said the issue is too important to politicize. The president has used the homeless issue to criticize California politicians before.

Steinberg said if behind the president’s words there is real funding and federal land for shelters, California will take it.

“I think we ought to see if the offer of help and resources is real,” he told FOX40.

“We’ve spent millions, hundreds of millions of dollars. We continue to spend more and the problem gets worse and worse and worse,” said Republican political consultant Tab Berg.

Berg said he agrees.

As of last year, the federal government estimates nearly 130,000 people in California are chronically homeless.

“This is such a big crisis that, I think, maybe we can get the politicians to put their petty animus aside and say, ‘Let’s all jump in and see if we can come up with a solution,’” Berg said.

Local officials say possible solutions might be opening federal spaces and buildings to house more people.

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