Assembly Bill 1500 recently passed unanimously through the State Assembly. The legislation, by San Diego Assemblymember Brian Maienschein, aims to allow local governments to create more housing opportunities for the homeless. “I am pleased that my bill, which would enable cities and counties to plan for the construction of supportive and transitional housing projects, passed the Assembly,” said Maienschein. “Many of our homeless also suffer from some form of mental illness, and these individuals are the ones who have the greatest need for stable housing.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reports that there were 115,738 homeless Californians in 2015 – 21 percent of the homeless population nationwide. Many social service experts in the state advocate housing-first strategy; by offering safe, secure housing, individuals and families are better able to make use of other necessary services and opportunities to get back on their feet.