Homelessness Task Force members seek help with public engagement and outreach plan

During the Homelessness Task Force meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 20, task force members addressed the Ad Hoc Committee’s roles and responsibilities and explored creating a public outreach plan to get the community more involved. 

“I do recall Councilmember [Bruce] Silverstein was very much concerned and very much interested in developing some kind of mechanism to get broader input to the community on homeless issues,” Public Safety Director Susan Dueñas said. “I think he felt like there was too small of a group who were involved in making decisions, and we didn’t have a way to get broader community input.”

Task force members shared similar interests in keeping the topics within the panel without creating a separate ad hoc committee for the public outreach plan.

“It’s really hard seemingly to get anyone in Malibu motivated to participate in anything,” task force member Scott Dittrich said. “We just had our first candidate election forum on Saturday, and the attendance wasn’t that great.”

Dittrich asked Dueñas if they can add this topic to the agenda and come up with ideas to get the community more involved.

“I think it can certainly be done in a brainstorm fashion,” Dueñas said. “We can have task force members piggyback on events where they go and ask questions in the community, kind of doing a short survey and talking to people, this is just an example, that’s an idea of brainstorming, we can also do a community wide survey again. This is kind of, I think, what Bruce is looking for, is a brainstorm on what are some ways we can reach out to the broader community.”

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Task force members proposed using social media and creating a website to reach a broader audience. 

After a group discussion about creating an ad hoc committee, the panel motioned to schedule a homelessness task force special meeting for the public engagement and outreach plan to brainstorm opportunities for community involvement.

Public Safety Liason Luis Flores provided an update on public safety, research strategies, and the implementation of the Alternative Sleeping Location (ASL).

“It is ongoing as we continue to explore council direction which is, of course, to explore the establishment of an ASL outside of the city without using city funds,” Flores said. 

In the Aug. 8 meeting, Flores presented the Homelessness Task Force recommendation for securing beds at an existing facility outside of the city and requested the council to provide direction to staff. Council approved the proposal.

The associated costs will depend on factors such as the number of beds, case management and general service provision, and transportation from Malibu to the contracted facility, but are likely to be approximately $2,400 per bed, per month, or $24,000 this fiscal year for September 2022 through June 2023.

The next Homelessness Task Force meeting is scheduled for Oct. 18. 

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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