Sunday, June 4, 2023

Grand Jury Examines Homelessness in Mendocino County


The following are key findings the Mendocino County Grand Jury identified regarding the issue of homelessness. The totality of the document can be seen below:

Homeless ephemera near Ukiah’s Jack in the Box [Picture by Matt LaFever]


F1. The Mendocino County Continuum of Care website is outdated and there is no single point of contact, such as an 800 number, for those in need of homeless services.

F2. The Continuum of Care is limited to coordinating funds to locally available services which can result in service gaps for the homeless.

F3. The breadth of locally available services does not have or require written policies and procedures to monitor the level of service being provided for the homeless which results in service outcomes for the homeless not being measured.

F4. Gaps in the Homeless Services System of Care, such as coordinated, collaborative response teams of service providers and law enforcement, are filled by law enforcement agencies that are resource-limited and have unfilled liaison positions for effective Community Policing.

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F5. The Continuum of Care has a quantitative rating system to grade service provider applicants. The rating tool does not evaluate prior objectives of an applicant to determine a history of successful outcomes. There is no rating system for similar services funded separately through County Health and Human Services.

F6. Law Enforcement agencies are represented on the Continuum of Care by the UPD. With the absence of Federal guidance on how to coordinate police with program services, there is a collaboration gap between providers and government agencies that requires creative local solutions to establish protocols, and define clear roles for service providers and agencies, to foster working relationships.

F7. The majority of members on the Continuum of Care are employees of other agencies and struggle to address the level of service needed locally without policy guidance from the Board of Supervisors, City elected officials, or other assigned staff.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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