The Carlsbad City Council Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Homelessness held a town hall meeting Wednesday, Aug. 28, from 6 to 9 p.m., to discuss homelessness in Carlsbad, including the city’s current homeless response plan, how homelessness affects community members and what residents can do to support the city’s response.
Approximately 200 community members attended the meeting which began with a presentation from the Homeless Outreach Team Police Captain. Community members then broke into groups to discuss three questions
In your opinion, what are the biggest issues/concerns related to homelessness?
How do you think Carlsbad can help address the issues/concerns on a regional basis?
What three things are you going to do or commit to?
The responses to these questions were reported out at the meeting and will be transcribed into a summary document that will be posted on the city’s homelessness webpage on its website to share with other interested residents. It is anticipated that these responses will be on the city website by the end of next week. This information from the residents will assist the City Council subcommittee as it meets with elected officials from other North San Diego County elected officials to discuss the development of a North County Homeless Action Plan.
In 2017, in response to increasing concerns about homelessness in Carlsbad, the City Council approved a multi-departmental Homeless Response Plan in 2017 that takes a “compassionate enforcement” approach to this region-wide problem. The plan includes enhanced efforts to assist those in need of housing and reduce the impacts of homelessness on the community.
Subcommittee on Homelessness
On July 23, the City Council formed an Ad Hoc City Council Subcommittee on Homelessness to determine whether there is regional support for Carlsbad participating in a collaborative effort to develop a North County Homeless Action Plan.
In addition to meeting with the community, the subcommittee will meet with the nonprofit group Alliance for Regional Solutions.
The subcommittee, which includes Mayor Matt Hall and Council Member Cori Schumacher, will then bring a recommendation to the City Council for consideration.
If the City Council ultimately decides to participate in a regional effort, it would appoint members to a standing regional committee at that time.
New Resources for Homelessness
In the city budget that went into effect July 1, the City Council increased the amount of resources dedicated to the city’s Homeless Response Plan by more than 50 percent, in response to increasing community concerns. This increase includes:
One new sergeant and two new officers to the Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team, which will allow specially trained officers to be available seven days a week. The city previously had two full time officers supervised by a police sergeant who also oversaw other specialized teams.
A full-time manager for the city’s Homeless Response Plan.
A “housing navigator” position to help people find rental housing.
These new staff positions will join the existing members of the Homeless Outreach Team and other programs, including grants for affordable housing and temporary shelters, social workers contracted through Interfaith Community Services, a resource guide and other support.
For more information about the meeting or the city’s Homeless Response Plan, please call 760-434-2810.