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The governor of California was an example for others Monday on Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day of Service.
Gov. Gavin Newsom served meals as a volunteer at St. Anthony’s Dining Room at 121 Golden Gate Ave. in San Francisco where some of the city’s neediest go for food and respite, his office said.
Newsom’s work was also part the Presidential Inaugural Committee’s “United We Serve: A Celebration of the National MLK Day of Service.”
“Dr. King urged us all to step up in service of others and today we carry that call to action forward,” Newsom said in a statement.
“As our nation prepares to turn the page with a new presidential administration, we have faith that our country can again show the world that we lead with compassion, inclusiveness and optimism,” he added.
St. Anthony’s, a nonprofit in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, serves thousands of meals each day and provides programs that offer free clothing, medical care, addiction recovery services and computer access to low-income and people without a home.
Newsom has made the end of homelessness a priority for his administration, with $1.2 billion going toward local governments for that purpose. His 2020 State of the State address was dedicated to finding solutions to the problem.
Newsom also launched Project Roomkey to help prevent homeless people from contracting COVID-19 and Homekey to turn homeless people into homebound people.
Project Roomkey put about 23,000 people into hotel and motel rooms and Homekey has secured 6,000 units of permanent housing for people formerly homeless.
Newsom’s proposed 2021-22 state budget includes a $1.75 billion one-time General Fund allocation for Homekey. That money will go toward purchasing additional motels for permanent housing, developing short-term community mental health facilities, and preserving or purchasing housing just for seniors.
Newsom is also proposing through the budget to change the state’s Medi-Cal system to give more support to mental health and housing services to keep people from losing their homes.