Saturday, October 24, 2020

NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED WEEKLY ON WEDNESDAY - WEBSITE UPDATED THURSDAY

County to address homelessness 

Home Government County to address homelessness 
On a warm summer day, a Colusa police officer stopped a homeless man from stretching out under a shade tree in Veterans Memorial Park. He was one of several adults that typically congregate in the park during the day and find shelter at night wherever they can. 

“If you have no place to go during the day and no place to go at night – that’s being homeless,” said John C., a park regular. “The police keep telling me to leave town. I don’t want to leave town. I was born in Colusa in 1952. Colusa is my home and I want to stay here.” 

According to the Colusa County Department of Health and Human Services, the number of unsheltered people trying to survive in Colusa County has increased in recent years, just as it has across the state and nation. 

The rising problem has prompted county officials to develop a strategic plan to address one of the root causes of homelessness: the lack of affordable and supportive housing for at-risk individuals and families, and those with chronic problems, such as illness, physical disability, mental health disorders, and substance abuse. 

According to a survey authorized by Colusa County, as part of the Dos Rios Continuum of Care, which also includes Glenn and Trinity counties, there were 196 people in the three-county area identified as homeless during the last 10 days of January.

“At the point in time that the survey was taken, there was an average of about 87 that were identified as homeless without shelter,” said HHS Director Elizabeth Kelly. “Additionally, we had 35 developmentally disabled adults that were displaced as a result of the Paradise fire, so we provided transitional housing for them from November to March at the migrant housing.” 

Colusa County officials commissioned the survey as part of a strategic plan to address homelessness with resources committed by the State of California under the No Place Like Home Program. 

The Colusa County Board of Supervisors approved the plan in August. 

“Homelessness is a national crisis affecting those experiencing it, but also impacting almost every aspect of society, including the economy, the environment, and our social norms,” the plan states. “Homelessness has many causes and few current solutions.” 

According to the survey, 23 people were homeless but sheltered, three individuals were sleeping in abandoned buildings, seven stayed in a motel, six were outside, two slept in a park, three slept on a sidewalk, and seven were living in a vehicle. Of those, 18 were homeless for the first time, the survey said. 

In the three-county area, 18 percent of all homeless are children, 8 percent are military veterans, and 8 percent have a mental illness. 

County officials said that ending homelessness would require a unified and strategic plan to expand affordable housing opportunities that are paired with other local supportive services. 

According to the Public Policy Institute, California renters pay 40 percent more than the national mean, yet the state’s median household income is only 18 percent higher than the nation’s average, making California home to more homeless people than any other state. 

In May, Gov. Gavin Newsom committed $1 billion to fight homelessness. 

Colusa County’s strategic plan will be used to apply for up to $500,000 to reduce or end homelessness by expanding secure housing opportunities or temporary shelters, which are partnered with lifetime supportive care programs. 

“I hope the county gets the money,” John C said. “I really do. I think we can all use some help.” ■

Susan Meeker
Susan Meeker
Susan Meeker is the Editor and Reporter for the Pioneer Review. She started her position with the Pioneer Review in January 2017 as the Advertising Manager. Susan specializes in local crime, government reporting. She also loves covering the various topics and events in our county. You can send her a message at susan@colusacountynews.net

More News

Colusa’s new police lieutenant sworn in

Colusa County’s loss is the City of Colusa’s gain. Lt. Sara Martin, the former investigator with the Colusa County District Attorney’s Office, was sworn in...

Local Government

Public & Legal Notices

LPN – Colusa Medical Center Hospice

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2020-0000093 Date filed: October 15, 2020 The following persons are doing business as: COLUSA MEDICAL CENTER HOSPICE Business Address: 199 E. WEBSTER STREET,...

FBN – Colusa Regional Medical Center

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2020-0000092 Date filed: October 15, 2020 The following persons are doing business as: COLUSA REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER Business Address: 199 E. WEBSTER STREET,...

FBN – Arbuckle Health Clinic

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2020-0000091 Date filed: October 15, 2020 The following persons are doing business as: ARBUCKLE HEALTH CLINIC Business Address: 900 KING STREET, ARBUCKLE, CA...

FBN – Colusa Health Clinic

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2020-0000090 Date filed: October 15, 2020 The following persons are doing business as: COLUSA HEALTH CLINIC Business Address: 151 E. WEBSTER STREET, COLUSA,...

FBN – Colusa Medical Center Home Health

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2020-0000089 Date filed: October 15, 2020 The following persons are doing business as: COLUSA MEDICAL CENTER HOME HEALTH Business Address: 199 E. WEBSTER...