Minutes from March 1, 2016 Open Meeting-Panel on Homelessness in the IE

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Open Board of Directors Meeting

 San Bernardino Community College District
114 S. Del Rosa Drive
San Bernardino, CA 92408



Present: Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Tom Brickley, Mike Burrows, Ken Coate, Scott Davis, Kevin Dyerly, Louis Goodwin, Dick Hart, Scott Hofferber, Mark Kaenel, Al Karnig, Lowell King, Pam Langford, Bill Lemann, Sue McKee, John Mirau, Dan Murphy, John Prentice, Jan Remm, Kristine Scott, Paul Shimoff, Steve von Rajcs and Ray Wolfe.

Guests: Dan Flores, Sheriff John McMahon, Dan Nackerman, Vikki Ostermann and Rhoda Rhodes.

Announcements: 1) Committees were reminded that white papers for the advocacy trip to D.C. are now due. 2)  Inland Action hopes to underwrite the costs of the Washington, D.C. reception through member donations. Members were asked to participate in funding the event which will be held at Potomac Partners brownstone on March 15th.  We will have a sponsor’s poster at the event for those who would like to be recognized that evening. The anticipated the costs will not exceed $4,000.

As drug-related overdose deaths continue to rise, it is imperative that we as a region act now to give emergency department physicians, hospital leadership, and others the tools to combat this public health crisis. Eventually, the plan is to expand outreach to urgent care centers, primary care physicians, dentists, and others as determined necessary.  A Safe Opioid Prescribing Medical Task Force has been created by the Hospital Assoc. of Southern CA to promote safe opioid prescribing throughout the Inland Empire. This Task Force is seeking letters of support in this initiative.
M/S/P: A letter of support for Inland Empire Safe Opioid Prescribing Initiative

M/S/P: Minutes from February 23, 2016

Dr. Dick Hart introduced the panel participants: Kent Paxton, Homeless Policy Advisor to Supervisor Josie Gonzales, Philip Mangano, President/CEO, The American Roundtable to Abolish Homelessness and Tom Hernandez, San Bernardino County Homeless Services Officer.

Chronic homeless are those that have been homeless for 1 year or more.  The annual cost to the public for each homeless individual per year is $35,000-$150,000.  These costs include medical care from expensive hospital emergency room visits to law enforcement intervention and incarcerations.  Although more funding and services have been provided in the past to address the homeless, it has not been effective and in fact the number of homeless have increased.  Finding housing has proven to be the first step to solving homelessness.  Per person the average cost of housing averages $12,000-$35,000 per year.

In 2007 the San Bernardino County Homeless Partnership (SBCHP) was founded to promote collaboration between agencies to direct the planning, development, and implementation of the County’s 10-year Strategy to end chronic homelessness.  The group consists of community and faith-based organizations, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, private industry and federal, state and local governments.  This Partnership provides leadership in creating a comprehensive countywide network of service delivery to the homeless through facilitating better communication, planning, coordination, and cooperation among all entities that provide services and/or resources for the relief of homelessness in San Bernardino County.

HUD participates with counties which conduct an annual count of homeless persons and SBCHP has experienced an impressive 70% reduction since its 2007 beginnings. This past year their focus on homeless Veterans was successful in housing over 400 individuals in a few months.  They encountered challenges such as no pet rules and landlord concerns of excessive damage.  Groups like the California Apartment Association and others were instrumental in finding solutions.  Another piece of the County’s success is the Homeless Outreach Proactive Enforcement (HOPE) program created by the Sheriff’s Department.  They have a policing philosophy that is used to link the homeless population with resources and service providers throughout the County. The objective is to reduce the rate of recidivism and reduce the current costs associated to homeless related crime.

Philip Mangano is currently the President/CEO of The American Round Table to Abolish Homelessness. The 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization has one goal, to abolish homelessness in our country.  Research has proven that service providers are providing services but are not solving the homeless problem.  Mr. Mangano supports a strategy known as “Housing First,” in which street people are moved out of shelters and into their own apartments, where detox and counseling can be delivered in a more stable setting.  The serious partnership of business with problem solving abilities and care giving service providers can overcome any barriers.  The system, however, must be sustainable.  Government programs like HUD-VASH (a joint program with HUD and the VA) provides rental assistance vouchers to move Veterans and their families into permanent housing.  This program has proven to be successful and Mr. Mangano urged the group to advocate for its growth and continued funding.  He emphasized the need to pay attention to the data and frame the issue around good business practices and research rather than ideology.

There is clearly a new thinking to solving the homeless issue. Political will and co-ordination of the many services currently available must continue but the business element must also play an active part.

A Q & A period followed.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 a.m.