Pleasant Hill Mayor's Message
Jan 29, 2020 11:41PM
By Matthew Rinn
Working together to address homelessness
While on city council and now as mayor, one of the most frequent questions I am asked is about our homeless population. Being homeless in itself is not a crime, and our police department does an excellent job with the difficult task of ensuring public safety while maintaining a person’s civil rights. Many people help out in their own way (with food, clothing, and shelter), but often those are only temporary fixes. I frequently wonder if the situation is because of economics, mental health challenges, substance abuse, or a combination of all three. As human beings, we don’t want to see anyone suffer. Clearly, the issue of homelessness is complex and not unique to Pleasant Hill. Still, we are tasked with offering solutions to this epidemic. So I wanted to share a few options at the city level. Faith-based organizations and nonprofits also offer services. We all have the same goal: getting people into the services they need and, hopefully, to a place where they can rebuild their lives. Here are a few options and programs:
CORE (Coordinated Outreach Referral, Engagement)Thisprogrambrings services and resources directly to individuals living outside. CORE teams target high-risk, hard-to-reach homeless individuals, youth, and families living outside who typically don't access services or don't know how to access services. The two-person teams use a client-centered “whatever it takes” approach to build rapport, with the goal of eventually connecting the homeless person to services that get them off the streets and stabilized.
The City of Pleasant Hill shares the cost of a dedicated CORE team with Martinez. CORE communicates with Pleasant Hill Police dispatch daily and responds to calls involving homelessness. This frees up law enforcement to work on criminal issues the city may be experiencing CORE meets bi-monthly with Chief Bryan Hill and Captain Greg Kogler to develop strategic approaches to homelessness in the city. In addition, our Community Resources Officers work closely with CORE and regularly meet with the team to discuss hotspots and provide a coordinated approach to city issues
2-1-1, a free service from the County.Call 2-1-1if you want to help someone get connected to resources that are available. Our CORE team will often respond in person.
Ask PHill. Ask PHill is an app that allows you to upload photos and report issues you see around town that are non-life threatening. (In an emergency or if someone is going to harm themselves or is a danger to others, please call 9-1-1). With Ask PHill, the city can respond and take appropriate action, and on a leadership level, we can track turnaround times and the effectiveness of our departments. Download it today!
If you have ideas about ways to assist, please email me at [email protected]
See you around town.
Mayor Matt Rinn