Preventing and reducing homelessness must be among our top priorities. The transient community is the biggest source of crime and is accounting for almost $4 million in emergency response resources per year. In addition to being a humanitarian crisis, it’s affecting our business community, and families’ comfort in using our library and parks. And it’s become a polarizing topic in our community.
This has long been a national crisis and recently a growing statewide crisis, but the county and Redlands have the most power in addressing our unique issues. Redlands has had among the highest homeless populations in the county this year — flip-flopping in third place with Victorville, with whom we share primarily our reputations for generosity, which in some cases is a quality that keeps some on the cusp of homelessness from becoming homeless, and in other cases makes us attract more who are already destitute.
We must collaborate with nearby cities and agencies to make good progress in creating a path to permanent housing. Combining funds and other resources will help the resources go farther; and putting smaller, individual programs in each community will not only possibly duplicate services and waste time in problem solving but it can mean a drain on every community via multiple lawsuits from people who do not want homeless facilities in their neighborhoods.
Redlands is a community founded on philanthropy. The goodness of our residents shows through YouthHope, Angels’ Closet, Steps4Life, The Blessing Center, Red Shoe, the Family Service Association, the Salvation Army, the faith community, the service club community and many more agencies. What we lack is a coordinated entry system and a plan based on proven strategies.
I have recently been appointed to the Interagency Council on Homelessness and, along with the other agencies in our county, have an opportunity to vie for a piece of the $9.4 million in emergency homelessness response funding available.
I am eager to lead this city into a position of proactivity.
Toni Momberger's Focus on the Redlands City Council
A vote for Toni is a vote for Redlands
Photo Credits: Redlands Daily Facts