Counties to ID Homeless Mitigation Strategies
RIVERSIDE (CNS) – The Board of Supervisors Tuesday signed onto a plan put forward by the California State Association of Counties to find solutions to homelessness by marshaling local government resources to develop strategies aimed at identifying the best use of taxpayer funds for reducing the number of chronically unsheltered people.
In a 5-0 vote, the board added Riverside County to the list of jurisdictions statewide joining the AT HOME collaborative that the CSAC Board of Directors approved earlier this month.
“California is in need of a comprehensive plan to address homelessness effectively and equitably,” said Supervisor Chuck Washington, who is president of CSAC. “While the state and federal government provides some funding for separate efforts, everything created from that funding has been a patchwork of programs and responses that often don’t work together.”
Washington said that the statewide homeless crisis cries out for a “unified” approach with counties at the forefront of reorienting “disparate efforts” to create “a robust system of response and support.”
CSAC’s focus is geared to advocating for legislation and policies based on “pillars” that promote accountability, affordable housing, economic opportunities, mitigation of the causes of homelessness, outreach and transparency in data.
An “outreach workforce” would be part of the approach, according to county officials.
Despite tens of millions of dollars allocated to homeless programs in recent years, California continues to have the largest homeless population in the country, accounting for almost 200,000 of those who experienced homelessness in 2022, according to figures released by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development in December.
Fully one-third of the nation’s homeless are in California, where six of the top 10 cities with the greatest number of dispossessed people are located, HUD’s Annual Homelessness Assessment Report said.
Riverside County’s 2022 homeless census confirmed 3,316 people were chronically unsheltered, a 15% increase from two years earlier. Results from the 2023 point-in-time survey are slated to be released in less than two months.
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