CAROL’S VIEW ON

HOMELESSNESS

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Working with the Community Resource Team Advisory Group on Homelessness in Upland

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The City of Upland started a Homeless group in 2014 when I was serving on the Planning Commission. I joined this group to interface with individuals involved in helping homeless and to help set policy for the City of Upland. This group started a unique program that started with the Community Resource Officers or CRO team in our police department in 2015 shortly after I was elected. I was at that time the only public official that was a member. This type of team was based on a model called the HOPE team in San Bernardino County.
The CRO team would act as an intercessory to the homeless. Shortly after starting a group of advocates trained with the Police Department and they started working together. Most of those trained are todays CRT or Community Resource Team.

The CRO team would act as an intercessory to the homeless. Shortly after starting a group of advocates trained with the Police Department and they started working together.

In 2015, I organized and hosted the first Homeless Forum at the Cooper Museum to talk to the people about their concerns about the homeless issues in Upland. The CRO team, homeless Director, Doug Story, and myself and a moderator answered questions on homeless and how to deal with the issues.

A few months later, I hosted the Homeless Summit at the Catholic Church where we rented space. At the opening ceremonies it was said, “This is not a police problem, not a council problem, but a community problem.” We all need to work together to craft solutions today. We held numerous workshops to identify issues within the city and offer solutions.

In 2017 the City voted to hire a new Director, Eric Gavin who had been actively involved with the CRO team and the advocates from the beginning. He oversees the running of the advocates that would directly interface with the homeless individuals in Upland. This group also worked directly with wrap-around service providers to house the homeless. Between the CRO team and the CRT 139 homeless were housed permanently. All people housed get wrap around services and follow up visits by the team for at least one year.
The City of Upland noticed a lot of homeless in our parks, particularly Memorial Park. Many groups, not from Upland were feeding them and leaving refuse in the park. As a council and our police department, this policy was changed. With the help of the CRT and the police, Memorial Park was cleaned and the park was closed at dusk in all our parks.
The CRT team of advocates primary function is Street Outreach.  They frequently visit local parks and homeless encampments to make contact with people living on the streets.  This way, they begin to form a relationship with them so that we can learn about their needs and struggles better and work with them to craft a plan to exit homelessness.
The CRT works hand in hand with the Upland Police. They have a detailed list of all homeless along with the Police.
By 2018 the CRT had successfully housed many homeless in Upland. One of their programs in helping the homeless off the streets was their laundry ministry. During this period they were washing their clothing, the team would help address important issues with the person like getting them identifications, social security cards, Medical, Food Stamps, and provide compassionate help and other things they needed.
The CRT was also joined by Step up on Second” This group houses chronically homeless mentally ill homeless with wrap around services for life. They have housed about 15 of our most chronic cases in Upland thus far.

In 2018 months they leased a property that they could use as an affordable option for people living on the streets to transition out of homelessness.  It is responsibly located in an area that is zoned for its intended use. It is being used to help people find their way off the streets, but also to beautify and improve the surrounding neighborhood.
The city in September 2018 got a grant money from CDBG to assist in housing the homeless. Some of the usages are rental and move-in assistance. These funds will be used to get:

    • Bus tickets to reunite with loving/receiving family

    • Temporary “bridge” housing for those waiting on a firm move-in date

    • Miscellaneous supports needed to PREVENT an episode of homelessness

    • My goals to help the homeless are:

    • To intensely find grant funds to help homeless in Upland. We have now applied for a state grant close to a million in September 2018.

    • To expand the training of our advocates

    • To hire more advocates

    • To have money for training for mentally ill (UPD has done this)

    • To have reports about general work done by CRT presented at council meetings.

    • To get a social worker to join the team from the county.

    • To continue to interface county-wide with available services.

    • Continue to work with other groups to assist in finding homes for homeless or pre homeless.

    • Police have a specialized detail to specifically work with the issues of homelessness

    • To continue to house the homeless with wrap around services.