El Dorado County supes hear homelessness strategic plan | TahoeDailyTribune.com

El Dorado County supes hear homelessness strategic plan

Eric Jaramishian
Mountain Democrat

El Dorado Opportunity Knocks Continuum of Care’s proposed five-year plan to combat homelessness countywide centers around four goals — stopping homelessness, increasing access to housing for all county residents, increasing access to homeless emergency response services and building collective solutions.

El Dorado County supervisors heard a presentation on the plan last week.

EDOK COC is a collaborative effort of local community partners and administrative stakeholders seeking to solve, resolve and prevent homelessness.

Called “The Community Plan to Prevent and End Homeless in El Dorado,” the strategic plan will gather community input, an effort that has already begun through various meetings, surveys and focus groups of folks who recently experienced homeless.

“I can hear a lot of concern in our community. As we move forward, there needs to be a lot of public outreach on these plans,” said District 5 Supervisor Sue Novasel, who praised the strategic plan.

Shorter term goals like development of a screening and problem-solving protocol, landlord engagement programs to help landlords support transitional homeless people to permanent housing, low-barrier warming centers and implementation of a tiny home or pallet program in fall 2022, a program District 2 Supervisor Turnboo has advocated for in the past, were all presented to the board.

“People are having problems finding even rentals here and having to find affordable housing elsewhere. There is nothing here for them,” Turnboo said. “These pallet homes are a good start to help these people get back on their feet.”

Navigation centers were a topic of interest during the discussion, which is also spelled out as a shorter-term plan.

District 3 Supervisor Wendy Thomas said plans to mitigate fire danger during fall and a navigation center for homeless should be a priority.

Area homeless encampments pose risk with illegal fires, especially during peak fire season.

“I am worried this could be (held) up … knowing that there will be negotiations, due diligence and community engagement, which can be a very lengthy process,” Thomas said.

Longer term goals were also presented, like the implementation of at least 50 new permanent supportive housing units by January 2027.

Health and Human Services Director Daniel Del Monte said the strategic plan will be submitted to the state for review and then it will be determined how state funding will be allocated to El Dorado County. Upon approval, EDOK COC and the county are expected to receive a total of $1.8 million in grant funding this fiscal year, according to Del Monte.

This is tied to state’s process for the California Emergency Solutions and Housing Program, which asks communities to develop a strategic plan to address homelessness, for which they receive grants, Del Monte said.

Supervisors all said they were pleased with the strategic plan.

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