WHEREAS, it is estimated that on any given day approximately 350,000 people are homeless in California, including 35,000 to 100,000 children; and

WHEREAS, homelessness impacts individuals and families of all demographics and communities in all areas of our state; and

WHEREAS, homelessness has been a significant issue nationally and the subject of more than 80 studies in California since 1980 with varying focuses and recommendations on best practices; and

WHEREAS, California has invested in more than 70 state programs to provide services to the homeless and those at risk, raising a need to determine the success achieved by these programs in reducing homelessness; and

WHEREAS, preventing homelessness is the most effective and compassionate way to end it;

, Governor of the State of California, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, do hereby issue this order to become effective immediately:

that an Interagency Task Force on Homelessness (Task Force) is created, composed of the Secretaries of the Health and Human Services Agency, Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, Youth and Adult Correctional Agency, Office of the Secretary for Education, and Department of Veterans Affairs and shall include representatives from the Housing and Community Development Department, Department of Mental Health, Department of Health Services, Alcohol and Drug Program, Department of Social Services, Employment Development Department, and Department of Corrections. The Task Force shall be co-chaired by the Secretaries of the Health and Human Services Agency and the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency. The Task Force shall seek assistance from any other agencies or departments and experts in homelessness prevention to complete the work of the Task Force.

The Task Force shall provide the Governor by July 1, 2002 a plan to incorporate homelessness prevention as an integral part of the mission within all State programs with the goal of reducing the incidence of homelessness in California. The Task Force shall consider ways to incorporate at-risk assessment tools into existing program services to assist in identifying individuals at risk of homelessness, and develop recommendations to provide services to the homeless in an integrated manner.

The Task Force shall also develop recommendations to utilize existing housing programs and proceeds from future housing bonds to significantly expand the number of permanent and transitional housing units for the long-term homeless population by 2010, and link supportive services into these programs to the greatest degree possible.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that all State agencies, departments, and offices responsible to the Governor are directed, and all other public entities are requested, to provide their full support and cooperation to the Task Force.