Yes on Proposition 2

Shania Miles, Writer

As poverty rates increase, the need for Proposition 2 goes up along with it. Proposition 2 is the greatest movement to help end homelessness in California and the ongoing suffering that goes along with it, with no cost to the taxpayers whatsoever.


But first, what is Proposition 2? According to a Proposition 2 promotion website, Proposition 2 will give permanent housing, treatment, and services to those with untreated mental illness who are homeless or on the verge of becoming homeless, mostly targeting adults/children with severe mental disorders or their families.


The need for Proposition 2 starts with the growing poverty rates in California. More than 134,000 Californians are living on the streets and as many as one-third of them are suffering from untreated mental illness. Research shows that issuing permanent housing with intensive services has proven successful for getting homeless, mentally-ill people off the streets and into life changing care–not to mention reducing taxpayer costs by 20 percent.


Instead of adding new overwhelming costs to taxpayers, the money will be taken from a $2 billion dollar bond financed by the Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63), only using six percent of the money from the Act.


However, the main argument against Proposition 2 comes from members Charles Madison, Gigi Crowder, and Douglas Dunn of the NAMI Contra Costa, a charitable mental health non-profit organization. They say that Proposition 2 is costly, taking up to 5.6 billion for housing projects without requiring treatment, which will then force many more into homelessness.


But in fact, Proposition 2 brings no cost to taxpayers by using existing funds for the mentally ill. Studies show that because Proposition 2 is creating a safe environment, secure housing, and a connection to mental health and addiction treatment, it will help those with serious mental illness stay of the streets and seek stability.


Homelessness aggravates mental illness, which makes treatment even more difficult for those with the greatest needs. People living on our streets, or doorways and parks need help immediately, and Proposition 2 can effectively service their needs. That’s why Proposition 2 is so important.