link to original reddit post by /u/Mighty-Lu-Bu

I keep hearing this and many on the right say this is common lie of the left but what is the real story? Gavin Newsom, our governor in CA recently blamed the homeless crisis in our state on Ronald Reagan who hasn't been governor for more than 45 years.

It was my assumption based on books I have read (mainly about economics) that the insane cost of living, the housing crisis, and the homeless situation in CA all came from overregulation, price controls e.g. minimum wage and rent control, and bad liberal policies.

On Quora someone asked the question: Did President Reagan close mental health hospitals and cause a dramatic rise in homelessness and crime in America?

The top answer was this:

This is a gigantic misconception that has been ‘repeated until true.’

And it is not true. It simply is not true. It’s a lie, but an oft-repeated lie.

The policy of closing hospitals that were run by each state began RIGHT AFTER World War II.

Reagan came in on the tail-end of the closing of the state hospitals and simply continued an existing policy.

There was ALREADY a huge problem in mental health care when Reagan took office.

Read history, folks, instead of people commenting on history or making up histories in ways meant to further their agenda or just parroting what they heard!

And people are NOT homeless because the state hospitals are gone!

They are homeless - I’m talking about the URBAN LONG TERM CHRONICALLY HOMELESS - because 90% of them (yes, in urban studies that is what has been found, again and again), have severe untreated mental illness.

For MOST of them the problem is NOT access, it’s that they refuse treatment.

For mildly ill people the problem is 1.) paying for mental health care 2.) getting access to it.

For the SEVERELY mentally ill individual far more often, the problem is different: refusing treatment.

The state hospitals were HORRIBLE places for the most part, and it was almost impossible to get decent treatment there. Most were warehouses.

There is NO REASON to lament the passing of the state hospitals.

Community based care administered by the counties can work VERY well, especially with new and better treatments that can usually be done on an outpatient basis.

And that is what was SUPPOSED to happen when the state hospitals closed - that money was supposed to go to the counties so people could get treatment near their homes.

Instead, that money…disappeared.

THAT is what you should be asking about! Where’s the money?

Instead, now the counties are struggling to provide mental health care and it’s nearly an ‘unfunded mandate.’

My question is- how accurate is this answer and what precisely has caused the homeless crisis and housing shortage in my home state of CA?