In an attempt to address the soaring number of California’s homeless population, Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday declared homelessness a “state of emergency” in the state’s 25 largest counties. “This is about our pocketbooks and our sense of dignity and pride,” Newsom said, declaring a homelessness crisis that has surpassed New York and Massachusetts. The proclamation builds on an executive order signed last week, where the governor announced that he would make California the first state to permanently house 40,000 homeless veterans in California.

The new emergency declaration comes just days after the departure of former Governor Jerry Brown, who has overseen the homeless crisis for the past eight years. In a bid to address it, the California state legislature is currently working on several bills to help house the state’s homeless, according to NPR. The state’s is also considering a program that would help get people onto federally subsidized housing, and other types of transitional housing, while waiting for permanent permanent housing.

Newsom said during a speech to mayors of California’s largest cities that the state’s homeless have nothing to be ashamed of. “We love our state. We love this country,” Newsom said. “We’re all sleeping next to the dumpster in our city and I’m leaving town.”

Read the full story at NYTimes.com.

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