California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) launched his latest initiative, Clean California Day, this week with the goal of freshening up streets and public spaces. He said that the project would contribute $1.1 billion towards state and local litter abatement programs. Additionally, it would offer 11,000 people jobs to participate in the effort.

This initiative is a response to an increase in homelessness across the state. Many homeless people have set their encampments under highway overpasses, freeway exits and entry ramps.

While California has invested $12 billion into its homelessness program to provide safer housing or at least offer alternatives to the encampments, 161,000 people are still homeless in the state.

“‘Clean California’ offers a historic opportunity to transform our streets and highways that have been blighted with litter and hazardous waste for decades, and with more resources than ever before to provide safer housing and shelter alternatives,” Newsom said in a statement released to the press this week. “We’re following through on our commitment to getting people out of unhealthy encampments and into safer, more stable housing.”

This program is not only meant to clean Californian streets, but also to provide jobs for those leaving the world of homelessness, at-risk youth, and formerly incarcerated people.

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