Huntington Beach PD to Host Multi-Venue Event to Boost Roaming Discussions
In the six months since Huntington Beach opened its doors to its navigation center – which provides temporary housing and services to homeless people – hundreds of people have taken refuge in the streets.
While the center can serve up to 174 people, its current population is around 85, city officials said. But for every person residing there, there are many more who continue to live in dangerous situations or who have not yet been helped by existing services and programs.
“Every individual is different – there is no one cause for homelessness,” said Huntington Beach Police Sgt. Roman Altenbach, supervisor of a city-wide task force formed in 2016 to provide a reactive and proactive approach to tackling homelessness.
“It really runs the gamut,” he said, listing addiction and mental health issues as just two of the many contributing factors. “Some people have lost their chance. Other people don’t want any help. Getting to know these people is really what ultimately helps. “
Population counts in 2019 identified 290 people who were not housed in Huntington Beach. Since the coronavirus pandemic, complaints about the impact of passing populations on parks and other areas have been increasing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the homeless population itself has increased, Lt. Dave said. Dereszynski, who manages the Homelessness Task Force.
“With everyone out of school and at home or not working, we have certainly seen an increase in complaints and calls for service,” he said.
Case manager Hayley Yantorn has confirmed that the number of efforts to prevent residents from becoming homeless has also increased during the pandemic.
To provide a bridge of information and resources between the homeless population and the general public, the Huntington Beach Police Department will host a Park Walk-Along Day in five geographic areas of the city on Sunday and encourage residents. to participate.
Police officers and civilian case managers who coordinate care and response through the Homelessness Task Force will be on hand to hear questions and concerns and provide updates on the latest efforts. awareness raising.
They will discuss how the task force is working with the city’s public works and community services departments, among others, to offer a compassionate approach to serving all segments of the population and sharing more about what residents do. can do to help those in need.
The event begins at Pier Plaza, 8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., and from there moves to Edison Park, 9:45 a.m. to 11 a.m., then to Central Park, 11:20 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., and Greer Park, 1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., before concluding at linear park-Sunset Beach, from 3:15 p.m. to 4:20 p.m.
For more information visit huntingtonbeachca.gov/homelessness or call (714) 536-5553.
Cardine writes for Times Community News.