Within the past week, the Temecula Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team arrested six homeless individuals in the Old Town area who had active warrants and illegal possessions. Police Chief Jeff Kubel says “We want the community to know, our Homeless Outreach Team is taking a proactive approach on homeless criminal activity, they are out patrolling and acting immediately on any unlawful behavior”. The City of Temecula has increased its homeless outreach efforts with the recent passage of Measure S, the City’s emergency response and public safety measure; which allowed the Temecula City Council to approve the hiring of an additional ten new police officers, two of which will be dedicated to the Homeless Outreach Team.
Temecula is also addressing homelessness through a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary and collaborative initiative called, Responsible Compassion. Crafted by Mayor Maryann Edwards in 2014; the goal of Responsible Compassion is to empower, not to enable. The program involves the efforts of various non-profits, including the Community Mission of Hope and Temecula Community Pantry, faith-based organizations, neighboring cities and regional partners like Riverside County. Through Responsible Compassion, those looking for assistance, whether it be food, shelter, mental or social services will be able to find help and a hand up.
The City of Temecula has dedicated a full time Homeless Outreach Liaison to assist in educating the community on the various resources available for those in need and to also educate our businesses and residents on what to do (and what not to do) on interacting with the homeless population.
If you are interested in learning more about Responsible Compassion or would like your business/group to hear a presentation on our efforts and recommendations, please contact Temecula’s Homeless Outreach Liaison, Robin Gilliland at robin.gilliand@TemeculaCA.gov or 951-694-6467