Gov. Newsom speaks in Oakland on last stop of homelessness tour

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Governor Gavin Newsom arrived in Oakland on Thursday, the final leg of his statewide tour for homelessness, the biggest problem he says facing all the cities and communities he serves.

"The issue of homelessness is a crisis in the state of California," said Newsom, as he stood in a parking lot near 15 new travel trailers, former FEMA trailers now owned by the state.

"This happened on our watch and we need to meet this moment. None of us are naive about the challenge in front of us and none of us are stepping aside and waiting for someone else to solve it."

The governor said the trailers are just one part of a larger initiative to deploy emergency tents, RV's and medical services to help the tens of thousands experiencing homelessness.

In his state budget released last Friday, Newsom committed an additional $750 million to homeless response funding, on top of $650 million in emergency grants.

The goal is to provide a range of services all in one place, including housing placement, employment development and homeless prevention resources.

Newsom says the trailers will provide temporary shelter for 50 to 70 people. Six of the new units will provide temporary shelter for homeless youth. The other nine will stay right here near the Coliseum to house homeless families.

"When we heard about the possibility of these emergency trailers being available to serve our homeless residents," said Mayor Libby Schaaf, "Oakland was the first in line to ask politely that we could avail ourselves of this incredible resource."

The governor's event was held just a few miles from one of Oakland's largest and most troublesome encampments, near the Home Depot on High Street.

There we found Leroy Silva, trying to secure some tarps to keep everything he owns from being destroyed in the rain. Silva told us he was born and raised in Oakland, and has been living on the streets of his hometown for 13 years.

He doesn't think 15 shiny new trailers will make much difference.

"They put a lot of rules on everything that they want us to do...and that's why a lot of people are out here, because they don't like rules," explained Silva.

Governor Newsom called such resistance a "low threshold," one he believes can be overcome by meeting those in need "where they live."

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