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Claremont continues efforts to combat homelessness

The city council last week heard an update from Human Services Director Anne Turner about the city’s efforts to combat homelessness.

The city acts as a “super-referral” system, Ms. Turner noted, meaning it contacts homeless individuals in the city and attempts to direct them to local and regional groups for assistance, including the Claremont Homeless Advocacy Program (CHAP), Tri-City Mental Health, Volunteers of America and Foothill Family Shelter.

One success story Ms. Turner shared involved a chronically homeless woman whom the city had been trying to direct to services for two-and-a-half years. When Ms. Turner met up with her in October 2017, she found the woman had become a client of Tri-City Mental Health.

“She is currently in shelter, so that is a huge success for us,” Ms. Turner said.

While Los Angeles County has experienced a substantial increase in homelessness over the years, Ms. Turner told the council the number of homeless individuals in the city has decreased from 43 in 2015 to 27 in 2016 to 19 in 2017.

“I want to tell you how much of an anomaly that is,” she said. “Throughout LA County there has been nothing but year after year increases of homeless individuals in our surrounding communities.”

The 2018 homeless count is scheduled for Tuesday, January 23 at 8 p.m. at the Joslyn Center. Those wishing to volunteer can call Viola Van at (909) 399-5356.

In October, the city was conditionally awarded $30,000 in grants to help combat homelessness. The grant will come before the council on January 23 for approval, in addition to a memorandum of understanding with the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments to work with a consultant to help plan and develop ways to help Claremont’s homeless population.

The council also approved the creation of an ad hoc committee that would look at other ways the city can help the homeless.

The next city council meeting will take place on January 23.

 

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