The City of Duarte in collaboration with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) conducted the street count component of the annual Homeless Count within the community on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 identifying approximately eight homeless individuals* and one vehicle* that potentially contained homeless. Volunteers deployed from the Duarte Community Center at approximately 8:50 p.m. to conduct a visual, driving count of nine different census tracks and concluded at approximately 11:00 p.m. *Note; Final 2018 numbers dependent on outcome of demographic survey numbers and shelter count information.
Duarte, one of the original opt in cities with LAHSA, has continually participated in the Count since its inception. Special thanks to the Volunteer Center of the San Gabriel Valley for their assistance with securing volunteers and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for maintaining excellent security during the course of the evening. Last year in 2017, 33 unsheltered homeless were identified in the City. In 2016, 23 were unsheltered with 37 in shelter. The year 2015 also had 23 unsheltered homeless identified.
LAHSA’s primary role is to coordinate the effective and efficient utilization of Federal and local funding in providing services to homeless people throughout Los Angeles City and County. The County’s data, collected countywide on an annual basis, is used to measure changes in the homeless population. Ultimately this information is used to create or improve programs, deploy resources and/or help lead to permanent supportive housing.
Thanks to a joint, $60,000 planning grant received by the Cities of Duarte and Irwindale, together, the two entities are developing a long term strategy to address homeless issues in their areas. Part of the strategy is to conduct two outreach workshops to discuss the current state of homelessness locally and in Los Angeles County as well as to gain community input. The workshops will be held on Monday, February 26 at Irwindale City Hall and Thursday, March 15th at the Duarte Community Center. Both workshops start at 5:30 pm and include a free dinner.
Year round, the City of Duarte employs a multi-pronged approach to coping with homeless in the community by accessing available social services and maintaining an active public safety response through the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Historically, during the daytime, they continue to address any and all violations at City parks and business areas aligned with all applicable rules and laws. At night, park curfew is maintained at 10 pm and code compliance officers regularly monitor abandoned property and shopping carts filled with property, The City also partners regularly with both the Cities of Azusa and Irwindale on the challenges presented by persons residing with the San Gabriel River. Routinely participating in patrols and safety sweeps. However, homelessness is not a crime and enforcement must be balanced with individual civil rights. Our City also dedicates members of the Sheriff’s special assignment team to target homeless patrols, which occur weekly.
Duarte City staff is also working closely with social service partners such as LAHSA and Union Station of Pasadena who serves as the coordinated entry system provider for the region. Coordinated entry provides a consistent manner of interfacing with the homeless population to determine the need and level of resources for each individual case.
Staff is also conducting a workshop with the City Council on March 27, 2018 to discuss possible code, signage and infrastructure changes designed to deter extended periods of loitering. For additional information on homelessness in the City of Duarte, please contact Sgt. Tony Osterman, Duarte Public Safety at 626 357-7938, xt. 304.