Responsible Compassion for the Homeless
The mission of the City of Temecula’s Responsible Compassion program is to further improve quality of life by developing residents’, businesses’ and visitors’ awareness, understanding, and participation in a comprehensive strategy to solve homelessness in Temecula.
- Development of a multi-agency partnership to increase collaboration of service providers to assist the homeless in becoming self-sufficient.
- Ongoing personal contact between the Homeless Outreach Team officers and homeless individuals to increase trust and make referrals to service providers.
- Work closely with local outreach organizations to coordinate housing, employment and medical and mental health services.
- Enforcement of law violations (i.e. trespassing, illegal lodging, public intoxication, aggressive panhandling, etc.)
Four Types of Homelessness
- Those who want and will accept a hand up to regain self-sufficiency
- Those who may be suffering from mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other conditions that inhibit reasoning skills
- Those who refuse help, and choose to live outdoors, while observing the law
- Those who refuse help, make a conscious choice to be homeless, and may be engaging in illegal activity (generally associated with theft, public intoxication, trespassing, aggressive panhandling and vandalism)
Three Link Approach to Responsible Compassion
The City of Temecula has taken the lead on crafting a comprehensive approach to solving the problem of regional homelessness in a way that respects the inherent worth and dignity of every person. The “Responsible Compassion” program is consistent with the City’s Quality of Life Master Plan Core Value of Accountable and Responsive City Government and an effective approach to countering the causes and consequences of homelessness within our community.
Collaboration with a variety of partners and non-profit stakeholders, such as Community Mission of Hope, to provide effective and comprehensive services offering support and requiring participants to move down a path into self-sufficiency, without taxpayer dollars.
Coordination of efforts between the City of Temecula, the Temecula Police Department, Non-Profits, Faith-Based organizations and Regional Partners to leverage resources in order to best address the variety of challenges related to homelessness.
Communication with Temecula residents and businesses through an extensive awareness campaign.
Temecula Police Department “Homeless Outreach Team Overview/Duties” :
- Implemented June 11, 2015
- One Sergeant and four officers assigned to the Team
- Developed resource pamphlet used by the City of Temecula to refer services
- Respond to calls for service dealing with homeless individuals (i.e. trespassing, illegal lodging, panhandling, 5150 evaluations, and public intoxication)
- Attend monthly Regional Homeless Outreach Team meetings
- Initially began with Homeless Outreach Team officers, staff from the City of Temecula and the Pantry
- Neighboring cities and various local agencies now attend these meetings to collaborate efforts in addressing homelessness
The two-person team has been in effect since June 11, 2015. Since the implementation of the Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) they have been responsible for directing homeless individuals to resources to seek housing, employment and medical assistance, investigated violent crimes against the transient population, and work closely with various outreach organizations in the community.
- During the 2015 Point-In-Time Count, the City of Temecula saw about a 12% drop in those who were homeless.
- This can be attributed to the collaborative efforts by all stakeholders involved in addressing homelessness in the City of Temecula
Reconnect and Restore
- Help many of our clients with bus tickets to reconnect with family members
- Several clients and volunteers have had employment assistance and found jobs
- Many clients have entered recover programs and have had success dealing with addiction