Proposed bill in California would guarantee a bed for every homeless person

California state Sen. Scott Wiener (D) on Wednesday announced a proposal for a statewide policy that would give every homeless person in the state the right to a bed year-round.

Wiener told the San Francisco Chronicle his “right to shelter” policy, formally known as SB48, aims to provide a statewide guarantee that all homeless people in California who want to sleep in a shelter would each have the right to a bed. 

“We don’t have enough shelter capacity in California,” Wiener told the local newspaper. “There are counties and cities that have no shelter capacity, or they only open in the winter.”


Weiner’s bill says the shelters that would be added under the measure would allow homeless people to transition into permanent housing, according to the publication.

“This is a way to get people off the streets and into stable housing,” he said.

However, as the Chronicle notes, the bill is missing key details, most notably the costs of adding shelters and how they would be paid for, which Weiner said will not be determined until the coming year.

Weiner said he hopes to have a finished bill by next year, but added that he may need to work on the legislation the following year as well.

Last year, the number of homeless people across the country increased for the first time since the recession.

An annual report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development showed nearly 554,000 people were homeless in January 2017, which is an increase of a little under a 1 percent from the year before.

Those numbers ended a consecutive six years of decline from 2010, when 637,000 Americans were homeless.