NOTE TO READER: "Curbhugger" Chris Doyon is attempting to make contact with President Barack Obama in order to get his support to end Sleeping and Blanket Bans as a way to deal with issues regarding homelessness. Santa Cruz County has a number of social service organizations that provide a network of services for homeless people, but, with the continued high cost of housing juxtaposed with chronically low wages, homelessness will continue into the foreseeable future without an infusion of federal dollars. Hopefully many of the restrictions put on federal funds can be eased to allow more to be sheltered. Log onto the KSBW site to view the video report.
----Becky Johnson, Editor
President, SCC On Same Page With Homelessness
Obama Administration's Homeless Plan Unveiled Tuesday
POSTED: 4:15 pm PDT June 22, 2010
UPDATED: 7:39 am PDT June 23, 2010
found online at: http://www.ksbw.com/news/23997883/detail.html
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. --
The Obama administration's proposed plan that has a goal of eventually ending homelessness was unveiled on Tuesday.
The proposal, called "Opening Doors," was announced at the White House. The proposal promises smarter coordination among the many agencies that try to help people find stable housing and economic security.
The plan suggests a big shift is needed so that programs targeted to solve homelessness are integrated with health, education and human services efforts.
It is estimated that 640,000 Americans do not have a place to live.
Some agencies in Santa Cruz County have already adopted a 10-year plan to end homelessness, and said they are on the same page as the president.
Agency employees said that there is already transitional housing and permanent housing plans offered, but what is needed is more affordable housing and support services.
"We've done a pretty good job of that," said Paul Brindel, of the Community Action Board. "We've seen some reduction in numbers over the last few years, but you can't end it without increasing people's income or reducing the cost of housing."
According to the 2009 Santa Cruz County homeless census and survey, there are about 2,260 people who are homeless in Santa Cruz County.
The Obama administration's plan calls for the end of chronic homelessness -- the problem of people cycling through shelters and hospitals -- in five years. It seeks to end homelessness among veterans in five years.
And it calls for preventing and ending homelessness among families and children in 10 years.
Copyright 2010 by KSBW.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.