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Backpack Drugs gives homeless good assist

Picture Courtesy Metropolis of Port Hueneme

Port Hueneme– The Metropolis Council’s report of the state of affairs among the many homeless within the space on November 7 continues with Homeless Liasion Officer Henry Montelongo saying 12 residents of the homeless group have been contacted concerning the Metropolis’s Backpack Drugs Program, and 11 have been receptive to receiving companies.

He pointed to points at space sizzling spots and the Goodwill location at Channel Islands Blvd. and Victoria Avenue, the place measures have been taken to guard workers on the location.

“What I do is lead docs, social employees, and County Personnel to these places,” he mentioned. “I made contact with the homeless first and allow them to know they aren’t in bother; I am simply making an attempt to get you guys assist. I’ve County right here.”

He mentioned as soon as they’re open to speaking with the folks providing backpack medication, Montelongo connects them to the County workers and steps away.

“A minimum of this fashion, they really feel a bit of extra open and converse to the County workers and haven’t got to fret about them disclosing something they may really feel will get them in bother with the Police Officers,” he mentioned. “I am throughout the space as a safety choice for the County personnel since you by no means know.”

He mentioned the County workers felt their efforts benefited the homeless group.

“They issued a number of vaccines and began one particular person on a Hepatitis C remedy,” he mentioned. “They have been very proud of that. Despite the fact that nobody wished to shelter, they have been not less than pleased that people have been in a position to begin with some remedies for among the illnesses that they had.”

Montelongo mentioned his Housing Authority partnership is his largest problem because the Metropolis’s Homeless Liasion Officer since he’s studying a brand new place.

“Gabby Basua, Jessica Cerda, and Anahi Carter have been instrumental in serving to me and educating me what I have to do to make this program profitable,” he mentioned. “They mentioned if I need a job over there, there’s a place for me as a Housing Specialist.”

He mentioned with Gabby Basua’s assist, they created three homeless Part 8 Vouchers.

“The Part 8 Voucher has to remain throughout the Metropolis of Port Hueneme,” he mentioned. “The problem and problem we run into is the Metropolis is just about constructed out, and we’re restricted to models which might be accessible to deal with these people.”

He additionally mentioned fee requirements rely upon the housing unit’s dimension.

“When you have one single, you just about are in a one-bedroom or a studio,” he mentioned. “It is restricted within the quantity the Part 8 Voucher pays for in comparison with three individuals; they will be capable of get a home, and the fee the voucher will cowl will go up a bit of bit extra.”

Montelongo mentioned his job is screening the tenants because the Homeless Liasion Officer and verifying they’re really homeless.

“You would be shocked what number of people will declare they’re homeless when they aren’t and making an attempt to supersede the entire course of and get their title to the entrance of the road,” he mentioned.

After placement, he mentioned the subsequent step is case employee follow-up.

“What I’ve discovered is case employee follow-up is instrumental in ensuring the people which might be being positioned in housing are profitable,” he mentioned. “We may begin placing everybody in housing, but when there is no one to follow-up with them, ensuring they’re doing what they’re alleged to be doing and serving to them by the entire course of, they’re going to fail by the entire choice course of after which again out onto the streets. We wish to be certain that they’re profitable and keep housed.”

He mentioned earnings can be a Part 8 problem because the voucher doesn’t cowl every thing.

“You might be nonetheless answerable for a portion of the lease, so there must be some form of earnings coming in to pay for that,” he mentioned. “There’s a method that I am nonetheless studying, and the ladies at housing are nonetheless making an attempt to show me the way it works. Relying on how a lot you make and the way a lot the fee requirements enable you is how a lot you pay to your lease.”

I’ve observed that Part 8 Vouchers have an expiration date, and the second they’re issued, they’ve 120 days to discover a housing unit and be positioned, or the voucher will expire.

“One other problem is the downpayment and credit score,” he mentioned. “One case that I am engaged on proper now, the minimal downpayment for the unit is $4,400, and plenty of these people haven’t got that cash. Additionally, the landlords and property managers are requesting their credit score scores. Plenty of these people, due to their state of affairs, haven’t got the very best credit score. The Housing Authority helps me navigate by these processes.”

Montelongo mentioned he’s at present serving to somebody referred to him, and the particular person has a “little mom” with an Autistic son who has been sleeping of their automotive and needs companies.

“I gave the officer some route on the way to get some primary info, and I will be following up on it,” he mentioned. “We started working along with her and started searching for some everlasting housing choices. The impediment we’re working into is we could not discover any accessible models for her.”

He partnered with the United Method by its Landlord Engagement Program, which incentivizes landlords to take part, they usually work with the particular person to seek out housing alternatives.

“The United Method discovered me a unit, and this was all nice work with the Housing Authority to find this unit,” he mentioned. “I went out final week and checked the unit with the tenant. The United Method took the images and despatched them again to the Housing Authority. They authorized the unit. We’re ready for the request for tenancy utility course of to finish. From there, we’ll go to an inspection and hopefully get the person moved into the unit.”

I’ve observed that the method takes 4-5 months.

Throughout Council feedback, Mayor Wealthy Rollins mentioned the method requires plenty of persistence.

“The Metropolis did enter into the County’s Continuum of Care Program; I’ve attended a number of conferences through Zoom, and I’m questioning if you’re additionally making your self accessible to attend these conferences,” Councilwoman Laura Hernandez mentioned.

“I’m attending these conferences, and there may be on November 9,” ​​Montelongo mentioned.

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