Calif. GOP governor hopeful: Force homeless people into 'mental institutions'

Calif. GOP governor hopeful: Force homeless people into 'mental institutions'
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California Republican gubernatorial hopeful Travis Allen said that he would build state-run institutions where homeless people would be forced to live, according to The Sacramento Bee.

Allen, who currently represents a conservative Orange County stronghold in the state Assembly, has said that tackling homelessness is too big an issue for cities and counties to handle alone and thus needs to be addressed by the state.

“We need state-run mental institutions where people can actually go, [where] the indigent can go and get the help that they need,” Allen said last month according to the Bee. “What we're doing is not working.”

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While campaigning, Allen has blamed homelessness partly on Democratic gubernatorial frontrunners, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D).

Allen has also said California has more homeless people than other states because it ended the housing of mentally ill patients in state-run institutions, which was largely phased out nationwide during the 1960s and 1970s.

Allen said he would bring back institutionalization and ensure it provides adequate mental health services, substance abuse treatment and job training, according to the Bee.

“If you cannot provide a roof over your head in California, and you're a California citizen, a roof will be provided for you,” Allen told The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board last week.

Part of Allen’s plan also calls for law enforcement to aggressively enforce anti-camping and loitering laws to get homeless people off the streets.

Allen claims that his plan would not cost taxpayers more but experts disagree.

Newsom, who was the mayor of San Fransisco, and Villaraigosa have said they also want to address homelessness but have proposed a “housing first” national model that calls for adequate housing as the first step in addressing the issue.

California voters will head to the polls for the Democratic and Republican primaries on June 5.