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The Encinitas City Council will consider approval of the City’s first Homeless Action Plan, at their meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 4 p.m. The draft Homeless Action Plan includes strategies to address the community impacts of homelessness in Encinitas and identifies the role of the City and its community partners in combatting homelessness.

The City Council agenda and staff report will be posted to the City’s webpage.

Why does the City need a Homeless Action Plan?

The purpose of the Homeless Action Plan is to:

· Understand current homeless population needs;

· Identify, develop and improve homeless services and partnerships;

· Assess the City’s current efforts to address homelessness and provide recommendations to ensure the City is maximizing its resources and impact within the community; and

· Assist in setting goals and actions ensuring that the City of Encinitas continues to move toward its goal of reducing homelessness.

What recommendations are included in the plan?

The City’s draft Homeless Action Plan recommends three primary goals, along with a series of action items under each goal. The goals in the plan have been developed based on comments and input received from the community and the City Council.

If the plan is approved by City Council, City staff would need to bring forward an implementation plan and funding strategies needed to support the recommendations and action items in the plan.

  1. Goal One – Increase the Capacity of the City and the Community to End Homelessness in Encinitas
    • Establish a set of community driven actions and tasks to address homelessness.
    • Establish a full-time staff position at the City of Encinitas to coordinate and manage homeless services in Encinitas.
    • Use data to inform decisions.
    • Establish working group(s) and/or taskforce within the community.
       
  2. Goal Two – Increase the Capacity of the Homeless Response and Supportive Housing Services System
  • Enhance the types and quantity of services available to individuals experiencing homelessness.
  • Enhance interim housing system capacity based on agreed upon standards for the operation of emergency shelter that reflect national best practices.
  • Enhance healthcare services for persons experiencing homelessness.
  1. Goal Three – Increase the Availability of Interim and Permanent Housing.
  • Develop strategies to maximize existing housing stock and potential housing resources.
  • Partner with the City of Encinitas Housing Authority to explore strategies to expand the use of vouchers to support households at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
  • Develop options to expand the number of year-round shelter beds in Encinitas and/ or Region.

Do other cities in North County have Homeless Action Plans?

The cities of San Diego, Carlsbad, Oceanside, and Vista have all recently approved plans to address homelessness within their city limits. Since homelessness is a complicated issue and goes beyond city boundaries, elected officials in North County cities have partnered together on the North County Homeless Action Plan to combat homelessness on a regional level.

Homeless Action Plan Background

On October 23, 2019, City Council directed City staff to develop a request for proposals for development of a Homeless Action Plan. On December 18, 2019, City Council approved the contract with LeSar Development Consultants to develop the Homeless Action Plan.

The scope of work included:

  • An analysis of homeless community in Encinitas which included the demographics of the current homeless population and its needs
  • Identification and evaluation of current efforts and resources to address homelessness by the City and other non-profit organizations within the City and region
  • Review of best practices from the region and nationally
  • Community outreach component that included three public forums and interviews/focus groups meetings with homeless services providers, city staff, city council, and individuals currently experiencing or have experienced homelessness; and
  • Development of an Action Plan that included goals, implementable strategies, measurable outcomes, identification of potential partners, and funding opportunities.

Public Outreach on Homeless Action Plan

As part of the plan development process, the City and LeSar conducted community engagement efforts to solicit input and feedback.

  • August 17, 2020:  The City of Encinitas held a virtual public meeting to present the Draft Homeless Action Plan. Staff presented the data collected to date, an overview of current programs and laws, and the proposed goals and actions of the plan. 
  •         Presentation     Questions and Responses
  • June 24, 2020: LeSar Development Consultants presented to City Council the background, results and recommended strategies based on the research compiled since March 2020. Staff and the consultant sought direction from the City Council on the strategies to be further outlined in the Draft Homeless Action Plan. The City Council presentation and staff report is available online. LeSar Memo to City Council     LeSar Presentation (PDF) to Council
  • March 20, 2020:  The first public workshop for the Homeless Action Plan was postponed due to COVID-19 and compliance with public health orders. A virtual presentation was given to continue progress on the development of the plan. The presentation provides an overview of the data collected to date on the homeless population and current programs.  Presentation 

Questions?

If you have questions about the Homeless Action Plan, please contact Principal Planner Jennifer Gates at [email protected].