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unhoused residents in los angeles

Unhoused residents in tents in Los Angeles. | Photo credit: Russ Allison Loar

Californians Approve Plan to Address Homelessness

March 26, 2024

Californians Approve Plan to Address Homelessness

Ask students: How many people are homeless in California? Who is the new initiative designed to help? What does the ballot measure fund?

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California voters narrowly passed a ballot measure that will fund billions of dollars to help the state tackle its homelessness crisis. Gov. Newsom celebrated the victory, but opponents say it doesn’t do enough to keep people from becoming homeless in the first place and gives the state too much control over mental health spending. William Brangham discussed the initiative with Christine Mai-Duc.

View the transcript of the story.

Key term

ballot measure — a proposed policy that citizens vote on directly in elections (as opposed to through state legislatures).

Remote video URL

Discussion Questions

  1. How many people are homeless in California?
  2. Who is the new initiative designed to help?
  3. What does the ballot measure fund?
  4. Where did opposition to the ballot initiative come from?
  5. Why doesn't the new measure do enough to end homelessness, according to critics?

Focus Questions

What do you think is the most critical action states can take to help address homelessness? After listening to this story, what else do you think California can do to help reduce the number of people in the state living without housing?

Media literacy: How is your own state or local community trying to address homelessness? If you don't know, how can you find out?

Extension Activity

Watch the following video from Student Reporting Labs and then discuss: What special considerations do you think state and local governments can take to help children and young people experiencing homelessness?

Remote video URL

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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