City Commission Will Hear Update to Pasadena's Homeless Count

Published : Monday, August 12, 2019 | 5:02 AM

Chart courtesy City of Pasadena

Pasadena’s Human Services Commission will receive an update on the City’s Homeless Count on Wednesday, August 14, at its regular meeting at the Jackie Robinson Community Center, 1020 N. Fair Oaks Avenue, which starts at 6 p.m.

Jennifer O’Reilly-Jones, Homeless Program Coordinator at the Department of Housing and Career Services, will provide a presentation on the Homeless Count Update for the Commission. It is not yet known what new information will be reported.

The official 2019 homeless count was released in May of this year. It reported the number of homeless people in Pasadena dropped to 542 homeless people as compared to 677 in 2018.

That report revealed that although the raw number of homeless in Pasadena is down, the number of those suffering chronic homelessness increased and accounts for approximately 50 percent of the total population counted.

On Wednesday, O’Reilly-Jones will join Dr. Sofia Herrera and Dr. Joe Colletti from the Office of Urban Initiatives at Fuller Theological Seminary in a presentation on triggers and factors they have identified that lead to adults transitioning into homelessness, according to the Commission’s posted agenda.

Urban Initiatives is a community-based non-profit research organization that has extensive experience conducting point-in-time counts throughout Southern California. In addition to planning and coordinating the unsheltered count, Urban Initiatives staff and volunteers also helped with collecting data during the Pasadena Homeless Count, conducted yearly usually in January.

Dr. Hererra and Dr. Colletti are the leading researchers involved in preparing the report on the Homeless Count for the City and for the Pasadena Partnership to End Homelessness, usually referred to as the Pasadena Partnership, which coordinates housing, services, and funding for individuals, families, and youth experiencing homelessness.

The Pasadena Partnership, the principal planning entity for the Pasadena Continuum of Care, is made up of more than 50 public and private agencies that provide supportive services and resources to people experiencing homelessness in Pasadena.

As one of the over 400 designated Continuums of Care that receive federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Pasadena Partnership promotes and implements evidence-based strategies to prevent and end homelessness. The Pasadena Partnership has served as the City’s primary community planning entity concerning housing and service needs for the past 20 years.

During the meeting on Wednesday, Human Services Commissioner Ann Rector will also provide an update on the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program, under which the Pasadena Partnership receives funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development yearly for homeless assistance. The ESG program is designed to be the first step in a continuum of assistance to prevent homelessness and to enable homeless individuals and families to move toward independent living.

ESG funds are used by service providers for activities such as: renovation, rehabilitation and conversion of buildings for use as emergency shelters, street outreach, homelessness prevention, rapid re-housing, and data collection.

In Pasadena, an ESG Entitlement City, ESG funds are currently used to provide rapid re-housing and homeless prevention services. The City releases a Request for Proposal biennially with guidelines on how to apply for the funding.

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