The City of Temecula presented a video highlighting its outreach efforts to those experiencing homelessness in Temecula at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. Temecula has taken a leadership role in the region by crafting a comprehensive approach to this socio-economic challenge. As part of the City’s use of best practices to effectively and efficiently support Homeless Outreach Efforts, the City of Temecula also adopted an Administrative Procedure guiding the removal of unlawful campsites, bulky items, and personal property, and introduced an ordinance regulating conduct in order to protect the health, safety and quality of life of persons in Temecula.
The City understands the concerns and frustrations of its residents when it comes to safeguarding the high-quality life in Temecula, and is addressing homelessness through the multi-agency, multi-disciplinary, and collaborative Responsible Compassion initiative. The Homeless Outreach Division of the Community Services Department coordinates the efforts of various non-profits, including the Community Mission of Hope and other faith-based organizations, adjacent cities, and regional partners. Through Responsible Compassion, those looking for assistance, whether it be food, shelter, mental health, or social services, will have support in finding help.
The City of Temecula also has dedicated a full-time Homeless Outreach Liaison and four Police Officers (the Homeless Outreach Team) to provide resources to those experiencing homelessness; education to residents, businesses, and organizations; and enforcement when needed. The Homeless Outreach Liaison and Team provide information on the various resources available for those in need, and educate businesses and residents on what to do (and what not to do) when interacting with the homeless population. While the Temecula Police Department is dedicated to providing every resource available with the goal of finding housing for those experiencing homelessness, the Police Department is also tasked with maintaining the quality of life for the residents of the City and will make arrests when a crime is committed in order to protect public health and safety.
Mayor Maryann Edwards, who developed the Responsible Compassion Initiative in 2014, stated, “The City of Temecula is committed to offering a hand up, not a handout, to those in need. We want to empower those experiencing homelessness to make positive change in their lives, without inadvertently enabling self-destructive behaviors that affect them and Temecula residents.”
Council Member James ‘Stew’ Stewart, who serves with the Mayor on the Health and Human Services Subcommittee, added, “Public safety is priority number one in Temecula. We want to make sure that all of our residents can enjoy this wonderful City and all it has to offer.”
If you are interested in learning more about Responsible Compassion or would like your business or group to see a presentation about Temecula’s efforts and recommendations, please contact Temecula’s Homeless Outreach Liaison, Robin Gilliland, at HomelessOutreach@TemeculaCA.gov or (951) 694-6480.