Addressing homelessness a main theme in Hume's Board of Supervisors campaign, skewers 'housing first' policies

Sacramento County Supervisor Candidate Pat Hume (upper left, clockwise) was joined by former
California Assemblymember Mike Gatto and Michelle Steeb discuss their 
solutions to homelessness in California. | 

With the June 7 primary just over three months away, Pat Hume has made Sacramento's homelessness a central theme in his campaign for the District 5 Sacramento County Board of Supervisors seat. Hume is one of five candidates vying to replace Don Nottoli, who will leave office later this year after serving 28 years on the board.

One of Hume's first moves on the homeless issue was his statement of support for a lawsuit over a homeless camp near Fari Oaks Boulevard and Howe Avenue. The suit was initiated by the Sacramento County District Attorney and Sheriff's department against the City of Sacramento.

Hume's press release asserts, "The city has been providing services to individuals in the encampment, but they have done little to try to displace the encampment despite deep concern for residents and businesses over criminal activity and health risks."
 
Referencing the Martin v. Boise ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that says municipalities cannot enforce anti-camping ordinances if there are not enough homeless shelters beds available, Hume said it does not cover other activities.

"Too often the Martin vs. Boise decision is relied upon to excuse inaction," Hume said in the February 7 statement. "As I understand it, it only applies to enforcing illegal camping ordinances - doesn't prohibit enforcement of other illegal activities like drug sales, theft, vandalism, littering, et cetera." 

The longtime Elk Grove City Councilmember opened a Twitter account for his campaign, and much of his activity on the platform has been on the issue. While most of his Tweets have been retweets without comment, Hume has offered commentary on occasion. 


In this January 8 Tweet, Hume lays out his view on the causes of homelessness. 


On his YouTube channel, Hume recently participated in a three-way, 45-minute conversation with former California Assemblymember Mike Gatto and Michelle Steeb, former Executive Director of St. John's Program for Real Change, and author of "Behind the Red Door, Battling the Homeless Epidemic." 

Hume's premise stated at the beginning of the discussion is that "homelessness is not primarily a[n] [affordable] housing issue" and that it is not a monolithic issue which we can solve for x."  Hume, Gatto, and Steeb agree that the housing first approach to homelessness does not work and other methods such as mental health or interventions need to be explored. 

Although most of the homeless population is concentrated in Sacramento and unincorporated Sacramento County, in recent months Elk Grove has seen an increase in its homelessness population.    



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