Gov. Gavin Newsom blames Texas for San Francisco’s homeless crisis

A former California Assemblyman is blasting Gov. Gavin Newsom for claiming Texas has played a part in the homeless crisis in his state.

The former California lawmaker, Chuck DeVore, is now a Texas resident and doesn’t appreciate Newsom’s finger-pointing. The Democrat governor blamed the Lone Star State for the homeless population in San Francisco, the city where he was mayor from 2004 through 2011.

(Video: Fox News)

During an interview on “Axios on HBO” back in June, Newsom claimed that many of the homeless in San Francisco during his tenure as mayor were not from the state, but “we took responsibility” for them. He then strangely placed the blame on Texas.

“The vast majority also come in from — and we know this — from Texas. Just interesting fact,” he said.

DeVore slammed the governor during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” Wednesday.

“I think what you’re seeing here are the words of a desperate man that we should almost feel sorry for,” he told host Ainsley Earhardt.

“He’s had responsibility for the policies that have created California’s homeless crisis,” he added, pointing to Newsom’s “22 straight years” in political office.

“San Francisco has this program where they give bus tickets to people who say they have friends or relatives that can take care of them, take them in,” DeVore explained.

“Of the people who go out-of-state, the number one destination is Texas, for 6.7 percent of the people in San Francisco. They have friends or relatives that, in Texas, that have agreed to take care of them,” he went on. “That doesn’t mean a majority of the homeless in San Francisco come from Texas. It means that Texas is a popular destination as it is for all Californians like myself.”

California’s homeless crisis, he noted, can be pinned on mental illness issues, “botched” criminal justice reform and non-affordable housing.

The California Republican Party criticized Newsom’s blame of Texas as “a baseless claim” last month while PolitiFact California mocked it as “ridiculous:”

San Francisco’s own homeless surveys contradict this. They show a large majority reported living in the city before becoming homeless, and just a fraction coming in from out-of-state.

Newsom’s office pointed to data from San Francisco’s bus ticket program for homeless people. But that defense doesn’t hold up. It shows just a small fraction, less than 7 percent, left for Texas, and doesn’t demonstrate that they originally came to San Francisco from that state.


“The data shows (Newsom’s statement) is completely and totally incorrect,” Jennifer Friedenback, executive director of San Francisco-based Coalition of Homelessness, said. “Newsom knows better, by the way.”

DeVore shared his personal reasons for relocating to Texas from California, including the high cost of living and the “very burdensome regulations and taxes.”

This was a point also made by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson on Tuesday.

“We seem to have lost common sense and what we are seeing across the country is the places that have the most regulatory barriers are the places that drive the costs up to the place where people can’t afford things,” he told Fox News host Martha MacCallum on “The Story.”

(Video: Fox News)

“Also we have lost our understanding of what real compassion is. For people who are incapable of taking care of themselves, just leaving them on the street, sleeping in their feces and vomit, that’s not compassionate. That exposes them to all kinds of germs and diseases,” Carson added. “We really need to stop and take a deep breath and say, what makes sense and those are the things that we should do. Bear in mind this only seems to occur in places that have massive amounts of regulation.”

“It’s mostly the local regulations, the height restrictions, the density restrictions,” Carson said as he continued his discussion.

MacCallum asked the retired neurosurgeon about his reaction to a Sacramento business owner who closed up and moved because of the rampant homelessness.

“That is what common sense is all about,” Carson said.

“We just have to start listening to everybody. Not just pick a certain segment and say we have to do everything for them. $700,000 for an apartment? How many people could you take care of? It doesn’t mean they have to live in squalor,” he added. “Recently the mayor of Los Angeles released some of the restrictions on dwelling. There is some progress but we have a long way to go.”

Frieda Powers


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