Over the last several weeks, the Monrovia Police Department has been working with a long-time homeless residents, who we’ll call Rose, to find her permanent housing. You may have come across Rose sleeping in front of Monrovia’s Community Center’s planter area or camping out across the street next to the Library. Previously, Rose has lived on Fifth Avenue, just above Colorado Boulevard, on the east side of the street in a yellow house that had burned down years ago. This forced her into her motorhome, where she lived until it was towed.
Last week, the new Community Policing Officer, Javier Leon, tracked down Rose’s 87-year-old mother in Seattle, Washington, where she asked for help to fly her daughter out to join her in Seattle. Rose agreed to fly to Seattle, so Officer Leon quickly began to set the plan in motion. Officer Leon found out Rose had no identification to board a plane, but she had recently gone to the DMV with a field worker from the Union Station Homeless Services. The ID was mailed to the local Foothill Unity Center. Officer Leon and the School Resource Officer James Ruano went to Walmart to purchase Rose all new clothes, shoes, and a beanie in order to be presentable to fly and upon seeing her mother for the first time in many, many years. Rose showered at the police station with the help of a Jailer, Anisa Ortiz, and then the team at the City drove Rose to the airport where she was greeted by the friendly staff of Alaska Airlines with VIP service and a wheelchair.
Not all homeless are ready or willing to accept help, but the City stands ready, willing, and able to offer support to the homeless residents. Of particular note, Rose is the eighth homeless person in Monrovia that the City has helped get into permanent housing during the past year. And each week they send out their Homeless Outreach Team to offer assistance. Their commitment is to continue working with the homeless population so that all of the homeless residents have the chance to be placed into permanent supportive housing, where they can receive life skills, addiction help if needed, and job training.