In an effort to address statewide homelessness, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the launch of a webpage that lists volunteer opportunities, according to a Jan. 16 press release from the governor’s office.
The webpage — developed by California Volunteers, Office of the Governor — is led by a bipartisan 25-member commission and a team of experts to encourage Californians to volunteer, according to its website. The webpage is part of the group’s effort to address state and community challenges by using public, private and nonprofit resources including AmeriCorps and community partnerships.
“Newsom prioritized tackling the homelessness crisis in our communities, so the California Volunteers’ plan, in creating the website, was to make it convenient and easy for people across the state to find opportunities in their communities to make a difference,” said California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday.
The webpage lists volunteer opportunities with organizations that serve individuals experiencing homelessness, according to the press release.
Fryday added that the program is intended for people in “all stages of life” and includes opportunities that can range from volunteering for an hour on a weekend to serving with AmeriCorps for a year.
To address major issues like homelessness, Fryday said it is important to engage all Californians and make it easier for people to contribute to the solution.
“We have had a lot of interest across the state. Wherever I go, people, and especially young people, always ask me, ‘What can I do to be part of the solution?’ ” Fryday said. “This website is an example of providing (an) answer to that question we get all the time. What I’m very optimistic about is that young people and all Californians want to serve and make a difference.”
The announcement comes after the end of Newsom’s statewide homelessness tour earlier this month. Fifteen travel trailers and a medical services tent were set up in Oakland to show Californians the resources the state will distribute and demonstrate state-local partnerships, according to the release.
Additionally, as a part of his 2020 state budget proposal, Newsom proposed more than $1 billion in homeless response funding, of which $750 million will be dedicated to the new Access to Housing and Services Fund and a new investment to reform MediCal.
Newsom also allocated $650 million toward State Emergency Homeless Aid, which includes $8.8 million for Alameda County, according to the release.
“We need all Californians and especially young people to engage in a real way on the big challenges facing our state,” Fryday said. “Tackling homelessness is a perfect example of how people can make a difference today.”