In California: Yes, the homeless people are from your town

It’s news for Thursday. 

But first, Carlos Santana plans to launch his own line of cannabis and CBD products in the state. Will they be smooth?

I’m Arlene Martínez and I write In California, a daily roundup of news from across USA TODAY Network newsrooms and beyond. Signing up is fast, fun and free.

Homeless people here aren’t from here

An open area off Smile Place next to the Sacramento River in Redding is one spot where homeless stay. (Photo: Mike Chapman/Record Searchlight)

You hear it all the time: Homeless people living on the streets in Anytown, U.S.A., aren’t actually from Anytown, U.S.A.; they’re from Othertown, U.S.A. 

The conversation resurfaced once again last week when a Redding elected official used a photo of a man reportedly in Sacramento begging for money to get to Redding as proof the city is drawing outsiders.  

Yet time and again, research has shown that no matter the community, a majority of its homeless population tends to be from the area or around it.

“I don’t want to go so far as to say that this is something that’s being spread around … to sort of make the problem seem unmanageable or out of control,” said Dr. Kyle Patton, who does medical outreach for homeless people in the Redding area. “But I think there is an advantage to creating that narrative, because then it seems like Redding is this unique microcosm of homelessness and there’s nothing we can do about it, which I definitely don’t feel like is the case.”

Redding’s elected officials have a lot of thoughts about homelessness. Last month, then-mayor Julie Winter suggested homeless people should be locked up until they demonstrate self-sufficiency. 

And in other sheltering (housing) news

Residents at the Oaks Estate mobile home park in Santa Paula, are fighting a rent increase. The increase, which residents say will be about double their current rent. Residents recently submitted an appeal to the commission. (Photo: JUAN CARLO/THE STAR)

A nonprofit plans to build 2,000 affordable units in the area around Palm Desert. It just needs another $100 million to get there. 

They are among the last bastions of affordable housing. But at California’s mobile home parks, who should pay for capital improvements? The answer is often residents on limited incomes. In Ventura County, a group is fighting back.

California’s most controversial housing bill is back, mandating high-density housing be placed near transit but this time with more flexibility for locals. Does it give enough? The team behind “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Pod” explores.

On Oakland visit, Newsom talks homelessness

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and California Governor Gavin Newsom tour a new site where the state will provide emergency housing for the homeless in Oakland, Calif. (Photo: Gabrielle Canon)

After spending the week traveling across the state as part of a “homelessness tour” — meant to amplify new solutions and understand the crisis that’s left more than 151,000 Californians without housing — Gov. Gavin Newsom ended in Oakland, a city hit as hard as any.

He was joined on the cold, rainy day by other local and state officials, including Assembly member Rob Bonta and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, to tour the latest addition in the state’s strategic arsenal. Over a dozen FEMA trailers, now owned by the state, were on display in a concrete lot near the Oakland Coliseum. Soon, they will serve as temporary emergency housing for displaced locals.

“We own this issue — it is the issue of our time,” Newsom said during the press conference. “It has happened on our watch, and we need to beat this moment.”

Headed for Yosemite? Read this

 (Photo: Getty Images / tonda)

Hundreds of people who visited Yosemite National Park earlier this month left with more than beautiful photos and memories: They reported gastrointestinal illness and at least two were diagnosed with norovirus. 

The “overwhelming majority” of the other cases are consistent with norovirus, park officials said Thursday. Most cases occurred on and around the first week of January. The park reports a “significant decline” of new cases over the past several days.

Yosemite officials and medical professionals are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the illness and are continuing to conduct interviews with affected people, authorities said. 

What else we’re talking about 

Global warming and melting image (Photo: NASA)

How the fastest-warming county in the Lower 48 states fared in 2019, the second hottest year on record. That county would be Ventura. 

Stephen King got blasted for a tweet people accused of oozing white privilege. Here’s how the star of a new series based on his novel (and sole actor of color nominated for an Oscar) responded during a Los Angeles appearance.

A tribe in the Coachella Valley just became one of the first in the nation to get the OK to grow hemp. 

So far, so good for Interstate 5 travelers, but as rain and snow rear their heads, check your roads before you go. 

Why expanding a system to incarcerate young offenders, an idea pushed by the state’s probation officers lobby in response to a plummeting juvenile hall population, is the wrong approach (OPINION).

Calif. claims 20% of the country’s best cities

Manhattan Beach, California sunset, captured on the iPhone 11 Pro (Photo: Jefferson Graham)

Ten of the country’s best cities to live in are located right here in the Golden State. So says a new analysis by 24/7 Wall St. that took into account over two dozen metrics related to affordability, economy, standard of living, and community.

The analysis only took into account the highest-ranking city in each county, otherwise, it’s possible we could have had others. Data came from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other sources.

Some of the things that put Palo Alto, Santa Barbara, Orinda and Solana Beach are factors like short commute times, walkability, reliable public transit, affordability, job availability, entertainment options, cultural attractions, low crime, and access to places like grocery stores and hospitals.

Topping the list? Manhattan Beach. Check out pics and more from the USA TODAY Travel photo tour, which recently visited this coastal town. 

In California is a roundup of news from across the USA TODAY Network newsrooms. Also contributing: CalMatters, Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Washington Post. 

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