Skip to content

Letters to the Editor: Homelessness is on the March 5 ballot, and this proposition deserves your attention.

Riverside’s League of Women Voters considers the implications of Proposition 1 on Riverside’s Homelessness challenges

Proposition 1 asks voters to approve a $6.4 billion bond for treatment beds and housing units catering to people with mental illnesses and addictions. It would also mandate that some mental health funding that goes to counties be directed to housing for people who need mental health and addiction services.

League of Women Voters California recommends a ‘no’ vote. They argue that the measure does not increase overall funding for mental health services; the bond money is ’earmarked’ for treatment units and supportive housing. Plus, the measure reallocates funds that counties spend on their local mental health priorities like outpatient psychiatric care, counseling, medication, and more.

Also, they argue that the measure was rushed through the legislature without adequate debate. With the [introduction of the] CARE Act and the expansion of conservatorship laws, there are more opportunities for institutionalizing someone against their will.

As Cal Matters points out, this measure is about funding for the most troubled subset of the homeless population – those living on the streets and “walking into traffic and shouting at nobody.”

This group makes up around 30% of the homeless population, but they are the most visible, disruptive “and arguably the neediest. They are also th” group that the general public most wants to see addressed.

The City of Riverside has a special interest in Prop 1 as Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson is a vocal supporter of the CARE Act and Prop 1.

As [Riveride] League member Sheila Kay Riley writes, “This must pass if we ever want to be able to help those who can’t ask for help for themselves. CARE Court is for folks who are homeless and have a “severe mental illness. Prop 1 will provide housing and wrap can’td services to assist them.”

Use the links above for more information. As with all ballot propositions - you are the legislator, and the law’s passage or failure is up to you.

Joan Donahue, President League of Women Voters Riverside