Santa Paula | Ad Hoc Committee on Homelessness

By Sheryl Hamlin

City Manager Rock explained that there have been escalating calls for services related to homeless to the Santa Paula Police Department. Recall that a group of citizens begged council for help at a recent council meeting. Read about that presentation here. SPPD spent hours on site giving tresspassing citations and packets of information about services, according to Mayor Gherardi.

Rock said that staff is recommending an Ad Hoc Council Committee on Homelessness from which two council members are to be assigned. He said that there are “significant issues” facing this Ad Hoc Committee. Immediately there is an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between the city and the county regarding the assignment of one full-time Continuum of Care counselor for Santa Paula contingent upon the assignment of one law enforcement official.

Additionally, he said the Governor has allocated $300+ million for cities to jumpstart this problem. Read about those monies here.

Council Members Crosswhite and Procter agreed to service on this Ad Hoc Committee. Council Member Hernandez is already involved in the county wide task force on homelessness.

During Public Comments, Carlos Juarez, a retired SPPD Lt. , spoke in Public Comments saying he is happy and encouraged the council has taken steps to form this committee. However, he said, it will take more than an Ad Hoc Committee, because homelessness is on the rise.

Carlos Juarez

 

He noted the two attacks, one in Ventura was with a knife and one in Santa Paula with flames, were the work of unstable transients. He also reminded the audience that the weapons were not guns. There is a measure in Sacramento now under consideration, AB 1971, which will amend the guidelines for incarceration of unstable people to include a broader range of mental issues.

Mayor Gherardi added that she has spent an inordinate amount of time on this issue in the last two weeks, including working with VCTC who has funds to clean out the transit corridors. Below is a picture taken by a citizen near the Main Street Bridge on Saturday May 19, 2018.

Near Main Street Bridge

The measure establishing the Ad Hoc Committee was passed and the two members assigned.

To watch the meeting and presentation, click here. The item is right after the break.

For more information on author click sherylhamlin dot com


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