Community Education

What is responsible compassion? Why is this the City of Temecula’s stance on homelessness? 
 First, let’s define each:

RESPONSIBLE: having an obligation to do something, or having control over or care for someone, as part of one's job or role

COMPASSION: a feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry or in trouble

Community Mission of Hope (CMoH) exists to help those in need toward the goal of self-sufficiency. CMoH provides tangible help, through food and hygiene products, as well as compassionate mentorship for the social, physical, financial and spiritual needs of local individuals and families.

Community Outreach
The community outreach/education component has begun with door hanger for our citizens. This outreach will continue to business owners, community stakeholders and potential donors. As you will see, the information helps guide citizens of Temecula on the “best” way to help those in need without actually hurting.
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.  
The City’s efforts include:

  1. Partnering with law enforcement, neighboring municipalities, faith-based organizations, and select non-profits to create a cohesive network of resources, proactive outreach, and community education initiatives.
  2. Initiating a cooperative agreement to support Community Mission of Hope in their missions to help individuals and families chart a path to self-sufficiency by addressing their physical, financial, social, and spiritual needs.
  3. Supporting the Problem Oriented Policing (POP) model with a dedicated multi-agency Homelessness Outreach Team (HOT) which works on an individual basis to prevent and respond to illegal activity.
  4. Working to educate the community about appropriate avenues for helping homeless individuals without unintentionally exacerbating problem behaviors.
  5. Distributing collateral to assist in community education.
  6. Participating in annual homelessness surveys to support a data-driven approach to policies and initiatives, as well as to gain insight into regional socio-economic factors which impact rates of homelessness in our community.
  7. Encouraging continuity among personnel engaged in front-line outreach, because efforts are most effective when staff can engage individuals with an understanding of specific factors which may include mental illness, addiction, disability, willingness to accept help, access to family or other social support, and prior illegal activity. 
  8. Sharing best practices with other regional agencies to improve local efforts and create a consistent climate of responsible compassion throughout the region.
  9. Utilizing City Park Rangers, other staff, and the Community Action Patrol to act as “eyes and ears” supporting the Temecula Police Department in its efforts to deter unlawful behavior and respond quickly to citizen concerns. 
The City remains committed to addressing the complex and evolving challenge of homelessness within our community.  With a dedicated staff liaison, future steps include broadening community education to leverage social media, deepening cooperation on the regional level, and reviewing existing initiatives to identify opportunities for improvement.