For Immediate ReleaseApril 29, 2022
Tom Patti to Focus on Making Homelessness A National Priority“We must reset where the federal government has failed,” Patti urges
Stockton, CA – Congressional candidate Tom Patti today outlined his plan to combat the nation’s growing homelessness crisis.“By many counts, there are more than 160,000 homeless in California, and the numbers are growing. State politicians have held press conference after press conference, but failed to take substantive actions to help get people off the streets. Much of the money the state uses to try to solve homelessness is federal money distributed by Congress — and they have had the wrong priorities,” said Patti. “While I generally believe in local control, the failure to address the issue and the sheer humanitarian crisis we are experiencing tell me we need to act to demand that we reset our priorities. As such, as your Congressman, I have a Five Point Plan that I will work to get Congress to adapt and states like California to accept.”
Patti’s Five Point Plan includes:
- Provide Emergency Shelter. It’s not compassionate or humanitarian to have people living on the streets. It’s also dangerous for them and our communities. We must require every city to have enough shelters to make sure every homeless individual has a clean, safe place to sleep, with wrap around services to get them back on their feet. We can then enforce our homeless anti-camping law and end outdoor camping.
- Clean up the Camps and Garbage. Living in filth isn’t progress or healthy. All federal, state, and city properties should be clean: that includes sidewalks, parks, and freeway underpasses. The camps aren’t just filthy, they are often open-air drug markets and centers of prostitution. The ‘broken window’ theory is right – if we don’t look like we care about little things, big things get worse.
- Dramatically Increase Mandatory Treatment. Letting people die in the streets isn’t compassionate. I’m just going to say out loud what everyone is thinking: most of the permanent homeless are addicted to drugs, mentally ill or both. We need to require California to immediately open long-term treatment facilities where we can compel people with serious issues to receive treatment.
- Make Us Safe Again. Most people who work in urban areas are starting to feel that they just aren’t safe anymore. They are right. While we are taking action to reduce homelessness and treat mental Illness and drug addiction, we must make sure that we have enough law enforcement to keep our property and people safe.
- Open the Books. There are so many great organizations and individuals working to mitigate homelessness. However, there are also those tied to a failed model that requires little to no accountability. We need more accountability. Every government agency or nonprofit who receives federal dollars to help solve homelessness needs to have a quarterly report detailing income, overhead, and exactly how many identifiable homeless people they have gotten off the street permanently while also implementing sobriety and mental health treatment requirements.
“In my service to San Joaquin County I have helped secure funding for Tracy, Lodi, Manteca, and Stockton homeless services. But unless we get the state and federal government on board with real metrics to move those encampments off our streets, and mental health and substance abuse treatment as part of a wrap-around effort, California will continue this endless cycle,” continued Patti. “My plan to make homelessness an immediate national priority begins with a reset of our priorities, and needs a change of thinking and approach in Washington D.C. Just like on the economy, Congress has largely failed – now it’s time to do better.”