Local city and county officials as well as staff have worked for nearly two years on a 10-year plan entitled, “One Piece at a Time: Ending and Preventing Homelessness in Yolo County.” The plan targets local resources to address the root causes of homelessness within the county.
Local officials such as Yolo County Board of Supervisors Chair Helen Thomson, West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon and Davis mayor Ruth Uy Asmundson invited community members to celebrate the implementation of the plan on May 13 in Woodland.
“Do I think it is worthwhile to put an end to homelessness? Absolutely,” said Michelle Kellogg, chair of the Homeless Poverty Action Coalition.
The plan focuses on three key components to help solve the problem of homelessness. These include prevention, the development of affordable housing and support services designed to help people achieve self-sufficiency.
For nearly two years, city and county officials have participated in focus groups and workshops in an effort to identify the causes and solutions of homelessness. These officials came to an agreement that in Yolo County, prevention is the key method to help put an end to homelessness.
“In other jurisdictions around the nation, when they’ve done similar plans, they’ve shown a decrease in homelessness,” said Janice Critchlow, Yolo County Homeless Coordinator.
Those involved with the program agree that the cost to taxpayers is much less to assist people in maintaining their housing than to deal with the negative effects of homelessness.
“When you come together as a community that you’re going to address the situation of homelessness, I think you come up with a plan and the funding will come,” Kellogg said.
Critchlow said that national studies have shown that it is considerably cheaper to provide people with a home, while the other costs associated with the issue are likely to fall off.
Regardless of the potential costs, community members agreed that it will take the entire community to come together in order to solve the problem.
“Homelessness is a community problem and is going to take a community solution,” Kellogg said. “It is going to take us working together to solve this problem.”
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