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Homelessness

No one should need to go without shelter

  • Homelessness in our town is a public safety hazard

  • Create the most simple, cost-effective shelter possible

  • Prioritize getting the most troubled members of the homeless community into services

  • Support local communities' efforts to collaborate on homelessness

  • Build a robust mechanism for soliciting donations and volunteers

  • If results are positive, aim to expand to other communities and apply for public grants

Homelessness is unsafe for all
  • Homelessness in our town is a public safety hazard. The homeless community in Shorebird Marsh is isolated from emergency response; has ignited grassfires; generates excessive litter; and leaves human waste and used needles in the preserve, posing an immediate danger to community members and their pets. It’s critical that Shorebird Marsh and other public open spaces remain safe for all to use at all hours.

Respond strategically & efficiently

see also: Public Safety

  • Create the most simple, cost-effective shelter possible. Shelters should take the most basic approach possible: getting homeless people under a roof. Aiming to turn lives around immediately may be unrealistic, but we can take a first step that solves two problems: getting the homeless population off the streets, and giving them a safe place to sleep.

  • Prioritize getting the most troubled members of the homeless community into services. The most troubled individuals in the local homeless community are responsible for a disproportionate amount of 911 calls and public safety events. If we can get them into services, we can make significant headway in mitigating the issue and associated public expenses.

Regionalize the response
  • Support local communities' efforts to collaborate on homelessness. Homelessness is a challenge that Corte Madera shares with many other local communities. We’ve proven our ability to work effectively with other towns through the MCCMC's Homelessness Committee, and it's time to double down on those efforts.

  • Build a robust regional mechanism for soliciting donations and volunteers. An effective response to homelessness need not be a drain on public resources; the local culture is one of generosity, and many of our neighbors will join us in contributing to solving this dire problem.

  • If results are positive, aim to expand to other communities and apply for public grants. Should an efficiency-oriented local response be successful, it could become a template for other communities, potentially receiving public funding to transition from mere shelter-giving to providing more comprehensive services for the homeless.

Case Study: An Eye-Opening Coastal Cleanup

In September, I participated in a coastal cleanup event at Shorebird Marsh. I expected to be picking up discarded protein bar wrappers and wayward tissues. What I experienced was much different: mounds of soggy clothing and broken electronics left by the local homeless population, along with used hypodermic needles. It was both evidence of human suffering and a public safety threat, and it radically changed how I view the issue of local homelessness.

Read more here.

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©2017-2019 Eli Beckman | Paid for by Eli Beckman for Corte Madera Town Council 2018

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