July 27, 2021- San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus and the H.O.P.E. Program- via Zoom

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Virtual Meeting via ZOOM


Present:  Megan Barajas, Deborah Barmack, Carole Beswick, Mike Burrows, Ken Coate, Kevin Dyerly, Louis Goodwin, Mark Kaenel, Lowell King, Mike Layne, Bill Lemann, Darcy McNaboe, Miguel Mendoza, John Mirau, Dan Murphy, Brian Nestande, Bansree Parikh, Steve PonTell, Catherine Pritchett, Thomas Rice, Michael Rivera, Dan Roberts, Dan Schenkel, Kristine Scott, Paul Shimoff, Sol Teh, Eric Ustation, Lupe Valdez, Ray Wolfe, Marisa Yeager, and Frank Zabaleta.

Guests: Mark Gibbs, Tom Nightingale and Arnold San Miguel.

Announcements:  1) The California Redistricting Commission is hosting a Community of Interest (COI) Public Input Meeting for San Bernardino and Riverside Counties on Saturday, July 31st, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. or upon conclusion of business.  As they propose to draw new district lines this is an opportunity to weigh in via phone.  For further information please visit the Inland Action web site and click on the News and Opportunities tab. 2) The Memorial Service for Congressman Jerry Lewis will be held on Thursday August 5th at 10:00 am at the University of Redlands Chapel.  Please inform Carole Beswick if you plan to attend the private reception immediately following. 3) The financial statement and Treasurer’s summary for period ending June 30, 2021 are now posted on the Inland Action web site.  Please contact Mark Kaenel if you have any comments or questions. 4) Effective immediately Member Pam Langford will Chair the Education Committee.  Appreciation was expressed.  5) In partnership with the San Bernardino County Public Health Dept. Goodwill of Southern California will begin hosting free COVID-19 vaccine clinics every Monday in August from 8a.m.-1p.m. at their campus located at 8120 Palm Ln., San Bernardino.  Appointments are available but walk-ins are welcome.

Lowell King, Chair, presiding.

Motion by T. Rice/Second by K. Scott/Passed: Minutes from July 13, 2021

Approval of new primary representation for University of Redlands, Krista Newkirk, President and San Bernardino City Unified School District, Dr. Harry Ervin, Superintendent.
Motion by T. Rice/Second by D. Roberts/Passed:  Krista Newkirk, President, University of Redlands and Dr. Harry Ervin, Superintendent, San Bernardino City Unified School District will serve as primary members of their respective group.

Michael Rivera introduced San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus.  Sheriff Dicus said he is very familiar with the group believes it critical to be involved with Inland Action as the group has varied viewpoints and topics that assists the Sheriff’s Department to “hit the mark” as far as what the community needs and the direction his office should take.  The newly appointed Sheriff indicated that the office will retain its stability and relationship-based leadership.

His office is currently working on illegal marijuana that has become a big issue in the County’s rural areas.  They will be working with the Board members to come up with an ordinance and fines to get control of this serious problem. Their favorable budget now allows them to add 13 more deputies in the County station areas which will greatly assist their current priorities.  He will begin the Community Services and Reentry Command which will be an end-to-end look at the Sheriff’s Departments resources both for the incarcerated population and when they transition back into the general population to assure they have what they need to become productive citizens.  Examples include assistance in transportation, obtaining a driver’s license, English as a second language, and even having a roof over their heads.

Sheriff Dicus introduced Deputy Sheriff and H.O.P.E. Team Member Mike Jones.  The Homeless Outreach and Proactive Enforcement (H.O.P.E.) program established in 2014 and based on a Colorado Spring model, is a pro-active approach intended to ultimately reduce calls for service and other resources currently required to deal with the homeless population. A community policing philosophy will be used to link the homeless population with resources and service providers throughout the county. The objective is to stop the revolving door of arrest, incarceration, and then release regarding homeless related crimes.  There is a fine line between social and criminal issues and often law enforcement has their hands tied.  It is not a crime to be homeless but actions such as loitering, trespassing pan handling drunk in public can be addressed from a criminal aspect but their hands are tied addressing many other issues that may have no direct “victim”.

Currently, the H.O.P.E. team is a four-man team assigned throughout the County. Personnel assigned to the H.O.P.E. team will each be responsible for a region of the county to connect with resources, service providers, and points of contact for each station.  The program aims to balance pro-active outreach with enforcement of the law, while connecting members of the homeless population with resources that may help them transition from homelessness. The ultimate goal is to reduce the rate of recidivism and reduce the current costs associated to homeless related crime.  Their vision is to increase the quality of life for all citizens of San Bernardino County by reducing crime associated with the homeless population and subsequently saving taxpayer costs and resources.

The last point in time count was in 2020 due to COVID-19.  The count is mandated by HUD and takes place every January.  The last count indicates that California has 151,000 homeless which is more than any other state.  San Bernardino County counted 3,200 of which 2,400 were out on the street and 600 were considered chronic homeless.  Approximately 40% of the total count are in the San Bernardino area and 20% are in the Victorville area.

The $11M provided by HUD goes to the providers in our community not the County that receives that funding.  This funding is also intended to keep those formally homeless housed.

There’s no shortage of organizations like Veterans Affairs and behavioral health groups trying to provide service to the homeless and the HOPE Team partners with all these groups.  Getting help to those in need is a challenge as many are constantly on the move but even more challenging is getting them to accept help.  ESRI technology through a smartphone app allows the HOPE team to get the person in need loaded into the system, and when help is available, the app makes it easier to find them quickly based on last contact and keeps all their statistics.

Although shelters however limited can provide for some the chronic homeless are not interested as they enjoy their privacy and freedom. Shelters often do not allow pets, are segregated by sex, and have strict locked door policies.  Supportive services are key and needed to address the real issues of addiction and mental health.  The HOPE program focuses on building relationships and connecting the homeless with appropriate services.  The growth sectors in homelessness are seniors and millennials.

The success of the HOPE team is reflected in the numbers they have assisted. For more information go to hope@sbcsd.org or call 909-387-0623

A Q & A period followed.
Meeting adjourned at 9:00 a.m.