Lots of Dollars Helping Nobody


From The Los Angeles Times, and quite frankly, clicking on the link takes you to a photograph that says it all about the quality of governance in California (also explains why so many people are departing the state).

Generally, funding to help the homeless comes from the federal government and goes directly to local agencies that coordinate homeless financing and services across the state. That federal effort has provided around $100 million annually over the past four years to an agency that covers much of Los Angeles County. At the state level, major programs that included homeless housing subsidies, such as a 2006 bond measure and a $1-billion annual property tax set aside for affordable housing, have run out of money or were eliminated over the past seven years.

Next year, the state expects to spend $700 million on homelessness, though more than a third of that amount is tied up in litigation.

What's the litigation about? Whether the money is being diverted from funding for treatment for the mentally ill. Meanwhile, state officials can't explain how they're spending the money that has been allocated, and lawmakers want to fix that by adding more money to the budget. This time, they promise to pay attention to how it's being used.