I Prayed have prayed
Lord, we pray that You would bring an end to homelessness in America. Give those on the streets the help they need, God, and stop politicians from passing policies that will only encourage homelessness.

Mayor Bill Wells will appear on IFA’s Pray with America’s Leaders on Thursday, March 23. Find out why some have said the progressive state and county are “shaking down” this conservative with proven, successful policies. Your prayers are needed!

From WORLD. El Cajon (pronounced “el ka-HONE”) is a medium-sized city in the metro San Diego area. When I was elected mayor in 2008, downtown El Cajon and a vast grid of surrounding blocks were a hotbed of crime, urban blight, and homelessness. In my pre-political life I had worked in mental health, first as a clinician with a nursing degree and then as a doctor of clinical psychology. Over a career of supervising mental health teams in hospital emergency room settings, I’d had a lot of experience ministering to and caring for homeless people.

Get prayer updates from IFA.


I brought that with me when I took office. We hired a new city manager, rolled up our sleeves, and got to work. Partnering with city officials, social services, law enforcement, the business community, and nonprofits, we developed new homeless shelters and programs. We enlisted the city’s ­pastors to pray, and much to the ridicule of many, we prayed with them. By 2020, any homeless person who would agree to get help had gotten it. Many became what are called “housed homeless,” but they were off the streets and being cared for. Meanwhile, the streets themselves were safer and more welcoming for all residents.

Then came September 2022. We noticed a new and sudden influx of homeless people to our city—not just on the streets but taking over El Cajon hotels. I asked our police department to make some friendly inquiries with these folks, to find out where they’d come from. As it turned out, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, without consulting us, had launched a hotel voucher program that quickly overwhelmed our two-star travel-lodge type properties, turning every one of them into a homeless encampment. …

Paradise lost

Decades ago, California was the destination of dreams. …

Today, though, the state is overpriced, overtaxed, and in many places riddled with crime and filth. Many large and medium-sized cities have become nearly uninhabitable—overrun by unchecked encampments of makeshift tents and ramshackle lean-tos. Drug zombies, criminals, and untreated psychotics roam the ruins and rule the places that were once the domain of the rich and powerful. …

How did we get here? Let’s start with a few basic facts. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development tells us there are ­currently 171,521 homeless people on the streets of California. To put matters in perspective, the next closest state is New York with 74,000. Some argue California is the most populous state and the numbers reflect that. But how then can you explain second-place Texas, with just 24,000 homeless?


Well, some say, climate is the determining factor. By this logic, Arizona should be a close second, but it falls far behind California with some 14,000 homeless people, and New Mexico with about 3,000. Even Hawaii, the most meteorologically idyllic state in the union, has just 6,000 homeless.

The truth is, California is unique in the nation in that it has crafted a network of laws and policies that are so permissive they actually encourage homelessness. Meanwhile, generous social benefits enable a lifestyle of addiction, even as ill-conceived laws discourage or prevent most standard enforcement techniques cities have historically used to ­mitigate the practice of living on the streets. The result: ­People from all over the country—and the world, actually—come here specifically to be homeless. California’s population accounts for 12 percent of the U.S. total of 334 million, but the state hosts 51 percent of the homeless. …

Redefining crime

Homelessness in California used to revolve mainly around addicts and the untreated mentally ill. But in 2011, the state Legislature added a new toxin: crime.

Assembly Bill 109 and, in 2016, Proposition 57 sought to ease prison overcrowding in California by simply deciding that many crimes were no longer punishable by incarceration. More than 70 crimes were redefined as “less serious” or “non-violent.” This includes the rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person, sex trafficking, lewd acts with a minor of 15 years old and above, hostage-taking, assault with a deadly weapon, domestic violence resulting in injury, and many others.

Then, prisons began closing—two in the past two years. After that, El Cajon saw a 35 percent spike in homelessness. …

Meanwhile, in 2014 voters approved Proposition 47, ­converting a whole menu of crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, including shoplifting of items less than $950. Recently, a group of 7-Eleven owners crowded into my office complaining that the homeless now steal from them with impunity—and with no fear of the police.

Proposition 47 also makes personal use of most drugs a minor offense, subject to a ticket or more likely no enforcement. In 2017, the legislature passed Senate Bill 180, which limits law enforcement’s ability to send chronic drug abusers back to prison. …

The voucher program is not new. It is essentially an extension of the Housing First model developed by New York clinical community psychologist Sam Tsemberis in 1992. If homelessness is caused by lack of housing, the ­premise goes, we should simply give homeless people houses. Soon many private and public figures announced they could provide every chronically homeless person with permanent supportive housing, or PSH, and thus help end homelessness within a decade. Since then, all major cities have tried Housing First. All have failed miserably.

In San Francisco, each PSH unit can cost up to $750,000. In Los Angeles, voters passed a bond issue for more PSH units. The city said they would cost $140,000 each. Instead, they cost triple that, and some cost over $700,000. In many cities, landlords receive massive rents or use third-party for-profit maintenance companies to earn millions on properties for the homeless. In California, the only state to fully adopt the Housing First model, there has been, at great public cost, a 33 percent increase in permanent housing units for the homeless. That sounds great until you consider that California’s homeless population has risen by 33.8 percent overall, and by 47.1 percent in the unsheltered population.

How can we solve a problem if we fundamentally misunderstand its cause? Progressives suggest that the root causes of homelessness are lack of housing, people “down on their luck,” and high rents in a tough economy. Couple this with a strident devotion to the idea that any attempt to link homelessness with poor choices, addiction, or criminality is wrong, and you create a paradigm that ensures any attempt to help will always end in failure. …

Let this be a cautionary tale for other states that say, “It can’t happen here.” It most assuredly can.

How are you praying against homelessness? Share this article to keep people informed.

(Excerpt from WORLD. Photo Credit: Canva)

Comments (23) Print


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

No name needed
April 1, 2023

Homeless are everywhere, in their cars, on streets, no place to go Dear Lord. The lists are all useless, 2 years out to 6 or more years! Dear Lord, I’m begging in Jesus name that “those” in charge will do the right thing. Not just young are homeless but elderly, & disabled! Your Children need your help Lord, man on this earth is doing nothing! In Jesus name I beg Thee to come help, come save Your children Dear Lord! Amen 🙏

Leslie lee
March 24, 2023

Well until you get your corrupt gov Newsom and his resident corrupt aunt Nancy under control your state is doomed and even mother nature and God is tired of it. No way is the taxpayer going to donate to the equivalent if throwing more money down a rather. I guess you’re going to have to tap hollyweird and in particular the whoop to pony up on fixing that mess. Won’t be surprised to see the san andreas be the next disaster and the rest of America’s reaction to be see… told ya so. God dealt with Sodom and Gomorrah and I just happened to watch one of those home redo shows Hollywood house lift? The homosexual host, Jeff Lewis, spent the better part of two episodes 9 and 10? talking about choosing the next embryo for his next baby through a surrogate. Preference determined by its sex and viability??? I was half asleep through most if it but really?? Sorry but it’s just a matter of time before God has had enough of these entitled over indulgent deviants. So yeah the homeless situation is bad all over the country and now we have illegal immigrants that our tax dollars are paying for but our veterans are neglected. Good luck but you’re on your own in CA. Nobody cares because our administration doesn’t care and we’re trying to keep our own lives and children from being on the streets. We watch the news and we’re not moved by California’s plight. They have done it all to them selves and God doesn’t appreciate his people not being good stewards of their money.

    Dee who grew up in El Cajon
    March 25, 2023

    How can you make this a prayer? What you say is certainly all true, but what is your hearts cry to God for the broken, homeless, mentally ill, and selfishly evil that Jesus died for. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. If you want justice pray for it. If you want transformative revival pray for it. If you want the heart of God pray for it….and I will pray with you. If you just want to complain I cannot join you and be pleasing to God. A few friends and I began feeding and witnessing to and praying for the homeless in San Diego in 1969. I have to tell you there were few working along side us. Most just wanted these people to disappear. So.can we at least pray for Daniels who can make a difference, For Sauls who become Pauls. For redeemed and transformed homeless who will not be afraid of the homeless, but lay their lives down for them as missionaries. Are you thankful that you are not like these men and women and children or can you grasp the concept of “There but by the grace of God go I”? Let me just say that until you experience the love that Jesus has for those broken and enslaved and wounded and endangered by sin the person I must pray most for here is you. Yes…God has had enough and justice is coming. God help us all.

    April 1, 2023

    God Bless you! 🙏

Kristeen Pemberton
March 24, 2023

I thank the Lord for providing a Christian leader in a California city. This small light gives me hope, and I am praying that mayors in other cities read this article for its contribution to the possibility of solving homelessness where they are in charge.

    Les lee
    March 24, 2023

    And how’s that playing out for CA?? What’s a horrible sin?? I was stationed at Travis AFB back in the 80s and couldn’t believe what an absolutely beautiful state CA is. Your liberat government has ruined it and that is an abominable case of sin against God and his creation. You have much to atone for and I don’t see it happening in my lifetime.

Janice Mendel
March 24, 2023

Thank you, Mayor Bill Wells, for your courage to use the talents God has given you to stand for healthy and successful living conditions. I will pray for your victory over this issue and for others to join in the battle against increasing lawlessness.
May God strengthen you. In Jesus name.

David Udall
March 24, 2023

Dear mayor Wells,

I am very impressed with your message. I love that you have a great care and concern for the homeless. And I will be praying hard for your success in all of your righteous endeavors! May the great Lord bless you and sustain you every single day of your life! And we will be pulling for you and your assistants and your supporters.


David Udall

Lindon, Utah

Grant Windholz
March 23, 2023

Lord God, please help this lost, broken country that we live in. This government is doing everything it can to corrupt the middle class and break everything down that stands and represents America. Both financially and lawlessness everywhere to name a few. Only you can save this country Jesus Christ! Please help us unite and give YOU the glory!

Gayle Kozlowski
March 23, 2023

Complete failure for CA! Governor Newsom could care less about our state! Our country needs Gods help.

March 23, 2023

I am from California and I’m so disgusted with what has happened! I am glad that praying people read this article since that is our only hope.

Sheila Price
March 23, 2023

Again, all the political policies in the world will never fix the spiritual problems.
People who are mentally ill need Jesus first and foremost.
Get those issues dealt with in each individual and the mental stability will change also.
I fully believe the presence of a demon changes the chemistry system.
Remove the demons and God’s healing creativity in His design will re-align in the mind and body.
The closer to God an individual gets the more healing ocurs.
This has been my own experience, and I stand firm in it.
Holy Spirit filled Christians need to be going into these areas and befriending them and leading them to Yeshua/Jesus. That’s the first and most important step.

    Les lee
    March 24, 2023

    Uh I think God has turned his back on California and all the other blue states in the nation. Man is going to have to get with God and that’s what I’ve been taught living 18 years in the Bible belt, Texas. CA better get on it’s knees and ask God to come into their lives it doesn’t go the other way. After that we’re within our walk to pray for God to destroy evil and that seems to be a prayer that is slowly but surely being answered. Unfortunately he’s sent evil to CA through peloser and her nephew. But you all keep voting him in and that’s the reality America is witness to. 🤷

Karen Secrest
March 23, 2023

Fentanul is a crisis problem in our city increasing crime. We have 14 000 homeless but 47000 living a marginal life now that rent relief has ceased.. later select few are to receive 1000 a month to take care of All their needs. There are few services and no distinction between physical and mental need.
We have arrived and the swamp isn’t pretty
Bring the children to me..

    Les lee
    March 24, 2023

    One thing you kids need to do is learn your history and a lot of this has to do with the ACLU putting the mentally ill out and on the streets. They have the “right ” to be free was their mantra. So there’s the start of your bleeding heart liberal mentality. Next you can look to the corrupt pharmaceutical industry supported by the liberal and corrupt left thank peloser, Newsom and people like Goldberg. If you’re getting sick of hearing from me well your site popped up in my Gmail. Lol another evil, the good old internet. So if you were hoping for bleeding heart support you hit the wrong person. We Maga supporters walk with God and know the score. We want the evil left out of our country our schools and keep your perverted drag queens and gender benders away from our children. Why do they love California so much?? Think about it. God’s not there. They spread their perversion with impunity and no push back. Rupaul used to be a clown show, now it wants your kids. I don’t see anyone fighting it. America doesn’t see anyone in CA fighting it. If there’s strength in Christ? CA needs to prove their commitment. Good luck.

March 23, 2023

Father, open the eyes of all the Kingdom is God Laborers to see and be compelled to the fields for they are ripe for Harvest. Prepare the hearts to be open and responsive to the harvesters Good News message of Salvation in Jesus’, their only hope. Father, we need your mercy, forgiveness, and saving grace for our nation in our time of need. Reach those in the highways and byways, compel them to come, that your House may be full. In the powerful name of Jesus I pray. Amen & Amen

Mary Mooney
March 23, 2023

May a mighty army of believers rise up in prayer of agreement forGod’s Devine intervention in the hearts of homeless and government officials. Awakening to God is the only answer for our country .

Allena Jordan
March 23, 2023

Father, Your arm is not too short that it cannot save. Save the people of California, especially the homeless who are sick, mentally ill, addicted, or criminal. Pour out Your Spirit because of Your great mercy. Come to the aid of those in need of rebirth.
Send the Light hymn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RjmtL7nmw0

March 23, 2023

Check out progressives bank accounts before all of these homeless bills that need to be funded by tax dollars, and after! See who has gotten rich! In the 60s I started noticing that all of the administrators of the new government programs like Head Start, Day Care, public housing, and all of the Community Action Activists groups, became way more prosperous than the average working person and were doing way less work! FATHER GOD please put a stop to all of these tax-funded programs except those teaching people to take responsibility for their own actions and lives! Expose all corruption in JESUS NAME! Amen!

    Barbara Janicki
    March 23, 2023

    So true! reminds me of our recent BLM experience of 2020 – judging by the name of this organization/movement, one would assume the policies and actions of this group would improve/help/support black lives. We witnessed quite the opposite. Across the country minority and black owned businesses were burned down along with grocery stores and pharmacies and police department buildings in poor and urban areas. They burned down the communities of the people they were supposed to be helping? These were also places of employment – again for the black lives they said mattered. And like you said – follow the money. Communities and livelihoods were destroyed by fire and vandalism, police protection was taken away, money was extorted from corporations, businesses, sports teams, etc so that they wouldn’t be vandalized and destroyed – then about a year later the three female founders of BLM were buying multiple million dollar properties in various locations and a BLM leader in Atlanta was also buying an expensive home. They destroyed peoples’ lives and communities while they got rich off all the “donations” to their “cause.” These programs don’t serve the people they are supposedly designed to serve – they only serve to make richer those that “invent” these programs/schemes in the first place. May God give us wisdom to see the truth and act accordingly. http://www.mtothe5th.wordpress.com

      March 23, 2023

      Amen! Also antifa and blm are considered community action activitsts and while they were/are destroying communities and many black businesses, THEY WERE RECEIVING A PAYCHECK from someone! FATHER GOD please continue to expose these crooks and their money source(s) in JESUS NAME! Amen!

March 23, 2023

The underlying reason for “creating” homelessness is votes. The leftists know that they can “harvest” ballots from the homeless with impunity. Yes, it’s “ballots” that count, not freedom to live as one desires. It’s all about the “ballots” and the homeless provide a ready source of these to use to seize and keep power.


Partner with Us

Intercessors for America is the trusted resource for millions of people across the United States committed to praying for our nation. If you have benefited from IFA's resources and community, please consider joining us as a monthly support partner. As a 501(c)3 organization, it's through your support that all this possible.

Dave Kubal
IFA President
Become a Monthly Partner


Click below to share this with others

Log in to Join the Conversation

Log in to your IFA account to start a discussion, comment, pray, and interact with our community.