Community members often see individuals wandering through the streets and throughout Downtown Modesto and along McHenry Avenue in what seems in obvious distress, and ask: “Is anything being done to help these people?”
In December 2017, over fifty community leaders were convened to discuss noticeable problem behaviors in and around the core of downtown Modesto. The group made a commitment to support a 90-day review and strategy process focused on addressing what many see as a crisis in our community. Out of that meeting, the Community Assessment Response Engagement (CARE) program began as an intensive effort to address the issues that arise in communities when homelessness is coupled with mental illness and substance use and/or alcohol abuse.
Read more about CARE
CARE Report 4-Page Summary
Video of CARE in action
The Access Center Visioning Proposal was submitted and approved by Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors on February 27, 2018. The proposal included initiating the planning process for a permanent Access Center, while opening a Temporary Emergency Shelter and Day Center as an immediate action. Read more here…
Community System of Care and Stewardship Council Access Center Visioning Update Meeting
Since the launch of Focus on Prevention two years ago, much of our initial work has focused on building a movement to reduce and prevent homelessness. Even as the work for this effort continues, we recently launched the Strengthening Families Action Council on June 1, 2017 to begin laying the foundation for a second movement to strengthen families in our county.
Ultimately this effort will grow to strengthen and support all families in Stanislaus County. Initially we will engage a relatively small number of families in order to learn ways of building effective strategies of prevention that involve all ten sectors. Following what we learn from these early efforts, we will expand to additional families across the county. The first population we will engage through this effort is “individuals who are, or have been engaged in the juvenile and criminal justice systems, their families, and families that have been directly affected by their actions.”
The primary role of this Action Council will be to develop a common agenda and high level action plan for this effort, and support the implementation of the priority strategies across all ten sectors. Action Council participation is open to the public, but members are asked to commit to attending the meetings to ensure continuity and consistency in the planning process. If you are planning on attending the Action Council meeting, we request that you register to ensure adequate seating and meeting materials. In the meantime, if you have any questions or need any additional information, please let us know.
From the Modesto Bee:
“Stanislaus County’s effort to get homeless people off the streets could take the form of an access center with temporary housing and services to help them rebuild their lives. With architects donating their time, local agencies are developing plans for a full-service access center to meet the needs of local homeless residents. Roughly 100 people attended a brainstorming session Wednesday to discuss logistics. Proponents imagine a center with 60 beds – 45 for homeless individuals and 15 for families. Those who take advantage of the housing opportunity would be permitted to stay up to a few months while getting their lives on track and receiving assistance from staff at the center.”
Read the complete Modesto Bee story by clicking here.
- Instead of waiting for individuals experiencing homelessness to come in for services, outreach staff seeks them out in the community.
- “The opening of the Outreach and Engagement Center for the homeless in our community was the result…of dedicated and caring individuals in our county collaborating to make this a better place for all of us to live.” ~ Supervisor Terry Withrow, Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors, District 3
Stanislaus County Focus on Prevention collaborative welcomed a diverse and committed turnout of community members, nonprofit administrators, local government leadership and elected officials to celebrate the opening of Modesto’s new Outreach and Engagement Center, located at 825 12th Street. Assemblyman Adam Gray, Congressman Jeff Denham, and a host of other local officials acknowledged the need for homeless services and greater access, commending the efforts that went into the Outreach Center opening.
The new Outreach and Engagement Center will coordinate the provision of multiple services for those in our community struggling with homelessness. Many individuals experiencing homelessness are disengaged from — and may be distrustful of — public systems and may be reluctant to seek assistance. Outreach and engagement efforts allow communities to bring services directly to people experiencing homelessness who otherwise might not seek out services and connect them to housing and necessary supports. Instead of waiting for individuals experiencing homelessness to come in for services, outreach staff seeks them out in the community.
Initially staff from the County’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Department, Community Services Agency, Homeless Court Program and Chief Executive Office will be housed at the Center. By this fall 2017 offerings will expand to include a Housing Assessment Team and other co-located homelessness service providers and community partners, and will be open for walk-in access Monday – Friday. The OEC will not be open for walk-in access until September or October 2017. This development allows the community to bring services directly to people experiencing homelessness who otherwise might not seek out help, and connect them to housing and necessary support.
Supervisor Terry Withrow, of the County’s Stewardship Council said, “The opening of the Outreach and Engagement Center for the homeless in our community was the result of thousands of hours of work, and hundreds of dedicated and caring individuals in our county collaborating to make this a better place for all of us to live. It is only the tip of the iceberg as we watch many more great things come out of the Focus on Prevention Movement in Stanislaus County .”
For more on Focus on Prevention visit www.preventionfocus.net
Stanislaus…will receive $2.5 million to tackle homelessness
Stanislaus County launched Focus on Prevention two years ago to deal with homelessness through a community-wide approach. Withrow said Gray met with him and other county officials a few months ago to learn more about the initiative.
“He sat down with us with some of his staff,” Withrow said. “He was impressed with Focus on Prevention and that it was not just another county program, that it was community driven. And he wanted to help get money for us. He was sold with the movement that was happening in Stanislaus County.”
Click here to read the complete article @ Modesto Bee