Homeless Task Force Meeting Ended with an Unsettled Strategic Plan

Plan is intended to enhance the use of existing resources for homeless individuals

The homeless strategic plan and potential solutions in regards to homelessness and public safety was in discussion during the Homeless Task Force meeting on Dec. 21, 2021. 

In efforts of balancing the protection of public safety with humanitarian issues, the strategic plan is in collaboration with the public, private stakeholders, the Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s office, The People Concern, Pepperdine University, Las Virgenes-Malibu Council of Government (COG), Malibu Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and more. The strategic plan is intended to enhance the use of existing resources for homeless individuals.

Public Safety Liaison Luis Flores began with mentioning The Greater Los Angeles Homeless Day Count, which is taking place on January 25, 26, and 27. The annual census counts neighbors experiencing unsheltered homelessness and hopes to direct and advocate for vital services to support the needs of unhoused neighbors. 

“We’re currently in the process of recruiting volunteers,” Flores said. “We’ll be working with our team here to get the word out and get some folks recruited so we can have a strong team on the morning of the 26th so we can have another great homeless count this year.”

According to The Count Will You, Los Angeles has the largest unsheltered homeless population in the nation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) did not conduct a countywide homeless count in 2021. The City of Malibu, with the assistance of the Sheriff’s Department, outreach workers, and local resident volunteers, conducted a count on Jan. 20. 

According to the City of Malibu website, the homeless count last year was approximately 157; there is currently no full report published online.

The first item on the agenda was the Homelessness Strategic Plan—which includes seven goals, have not yet been reviewed and approved by the City Council.

Members of the task force, which is an independent organization of community volunteers, were wording and rewording the seven goals of the strategic plan. 

“All seven goals deal with reducing the number of people experiencing homelessness, so I would let that [first] goal focus on the housing aspect,” Task Force Member Paul Davis said during the December meeting.

On the strategic plan draft, some of the goals mention services, programs to prevent homelessness and increase community awareness.

While members of the task force were recommending changing the wording of the first goal, some members we’re listening and giving suggestions. After spending about 30 minutes on the first goal, members in the meeting were saying it was taking longer than it should have.

“I think we all generally get what the goals are, and maybe we can table this whole thing and move forward,” member William Winokur said. “These are just the goals that were established, and we all kinda get that reducing homelessness, helping people and public safety are really the underlying goals of what we’re trying to do here.”

Members agreed to change the wording of the first goal and move forward. 

“For the rest of this, I don’t think this was a very efficient way of going about it,” Homeless Task Force Chair Ian Roven said. “I do like the wording. We’re taking this from another group that has been working on this for a long time and have provided the report to the city, and apparently, this is going to be a reflection of our task force now.” 

Roven motioned to form an ad hoc committee to no more than five task force members to provide recommendations by redlining the draft homelessness strategic plans goals by the next meeting.

The members that are a part of the committee are Ian Roven, William Winokur, Paul Davis, and Public Safety Manager Susan Dueñas.

As far as the public engagement, task force member Theresa Davis said that would follow as soon as they have a proposal to present and receive feedback from the public. 

The next Homeless Task Force meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 28. Location is to be determined.

Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo is an inspiring photojournalist based in Los Angeles California. She began her journalism career at Pierce College Media Arts Department. Twitter @samanthavbravo

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