By Susan Motander
Last year, the City of Monrovia undertook a four-month study of the issue of homelessness and its impact on the city’s park and Old Town area. In this study the city held several community meetings as well as those with a vested interest in the issue including: Foothill Unity Center, the county’s Homeless Services Authority, the local ministerial association and the interfaith community to name a few.
As a result, the Monrovia City Council adopted a final plan to combat homelessness at its July 17 meeting. This plan consists of six goals to deal with the issue. The city has put information about the plan on its website at cityofmonrovia.org/homelessness.
The city’s complete plan is 19 pages long and details the ways in which the city and its partners will work on the six-goal project. To access this plan go to the aforementioned website and click on “complete plan to prevent and combat homelessness.” There is also a kit on what individuals can do to assist the homeless.
- The first goal is to be persistent in contacting the homeless in the community. Members of the city’s Community Active Policing (CAP) Team have received special training to share information about resources available locally. The CAP Team makes not just one contact, but repeated contacts with the homeless to ensure they are aware of the services available.
- The second goal is to expand and better coordinate the community efforts to assist the homeless. This means fostering a better working relationship between all those in Monrovia and throughout the San Gabriel Valley working to help those in need.
- The third goal is to promote the use of the San Gabriel Valley Coordinated Entry System (CES). The aim of this entity is to integrate all the homeless housing and service into a single platform to improve efficiency. As a part of the city’s response, workshops are planned to improve the outreach of the CES.
- The fourth goal involves the city working to create better educational materials. These will be designed to focus on promoting the health and safety of the homeless and to assist community members to be able to better help the homeless.
- The fifth goal involves, the city developing a Monrovia Centric Giving Program. Understanding that many people would like to help those in this community who find themselves homeless, the city is working to set up a system whereby those who wish to help the homeless can do so by supporting the programs that help them rather than giving directly to the homeless.
- The sixth and final goal is to develop a Housing Displacement Plan. This means that the city along with its partners would work to keep Monrovia families in their homes.
In all of this, the city has been assisted by these partners that include not just the Monrovia Police Department, but also the Monrovia Unified School District and the Monrovia Ministerial Association. Some of the other partners include the following entities (alphabetically):
- Azusa Pacific University.
- Baldwin Park Housing Authority Section 8.
- Foothill Unity Center.
- Interfaith Community.
- Los Angeles Department of Mental Health.
- Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
- Monrovia Foothills Kitchen.
- Pasadena Humane Society.
- Pasadena Superior Court.
- Pasadena Union Statoin.
- San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments.
- Santa Anita Family Services.
- St. Vincent De Paul Society.