Hafsa Kaka, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s senior advisor on homelessness, stopped by Santa Ana on Wednesday, Sept. 27, to take a look at town’s Homeless Navigation Middle and find out how state funding is getting used to deal with wants.
The town’s 200-bed shelter, operated by the Illumination Basis, opened in Might 2022 for people and households, who’re taken in on a referral foundation and have entry to a wide range of assist companies to assist navigate their method to everlasting housing and monetary stability. Greater than $14 million in state homelessness funding assisted town within the buy, development and operation prices of the navigation middle.
Kaka, together with Mayor Valerie Amezcua and different metropolis and state workers, toured the power and mentioned different methods Santa Ana is tackling the homelessness disaster.
The go to to Santa Ana was a return to acquainted territory for Kaka, who labored for town in 2018.
“I’ve seen main progress,” she mentioned. “I do know that once I was first homeless service supervisor in Santa Ana years in the past, it was form of the start of jurisdictions coming collectively to deal with homelessness. Now I see that there’s fairly a little bit of regional coordination occurring, and to have the ability to see at this time’s 200-bed navigation middle, it’s thrilling to see how issues have progressed.”
Presently serving 162 purchasers, the navigation middle not solely provides friends with a spot to sleep, but additionally connects them with workforce applications, expertise assessments, everlasting housing, substance abuse therapy and different companies.
Queen Boston, who has stayed on the shelter for the final eight months, shared her personal expertise with Kaka, saying she was grateful for the workers that’s serving to her get again on her toes.
“I didn’t actually wish to be in a shelter, however I didn’t have a alternative as a result of I didn’t wish to be again on the streets once more,” Boston mentioned. “However, it’s been nice to me.”
Kaka mentioned listening to testimonies from of us like Boston is why she does these kinds of visits.
“The state is proud to be a accomplice and to have the ability to see the outcomes. Knowledge is nice. Wanting on the precise infrastructure and applications is nice, however while you’re really chatting with any person and so they’re telling you the way this program modified their lives, that’s completely lovely,” Kaka mentioned.
Amezcua mentioned homelessness is a human challenge and that addressing it can require that everybody work collectively.
“That’s what town of Santa Ana is doing in partnership with Illumination Basis, metropolis workers, the governor’s workplace. We’re reaching out to everyone who desires to assist us,” Amezcua mentioned.
She additionally mentioned extra cities within the county want to affix the efforts to deal with the wants of these nonetheless dwelling on the streets or with out safe housing.
“We wish to assist our neighborhood, however we don’t wish to bear the burden for your complete county,” she mentioned. “And that is essential for our neighborhood to know. Each metropolis has a duty. Santa Ana has simply completed an exceptional job, in my view, of main the way in which. And we’re not completed.”