Writer’s choice

Solution 1: Create NIMBY policies (Not In My Backyard) that give city police the ability to remove homeless from the city and drive them to the city lines. Similar policies have been created in Loma Linda, CA and Irvine, CA and are inexpensive and appealing to current city residents. The only output here is the time and energy required by city police to remove the homeless. Basically, the individuals are cited for loitering within city boundaries and are driven to a neighboring city. NIMBY policies are generally not seen as being good stewards to our fellow man, as they do not address the needs of the homeless individuals and can place additional resource burdens on the neighboring cities.

Solution 2: Continue with the current Continuum of Care Plan and Coalition that the city of Pomona has adopted and ignore the unsanitary conditions that are resulting from unmet physiological needs of the homeless. The current plan focuses most resources on homelessness prevention, so the benefit will likely been seen in the future. A weakness of the current plan is that it has minimal resource allocation towards addressing the immediate situation. The current plan is probably the least economically burdensome as the prevention of homelessness is cheaper and can be considered a return on investment. It would require greater financial resources/federal grants to make impactful changes, whose benefit would be immediately realized.

Solution 3: Grow the Continuum of Care Plan to include policy that not only focuses on prevention of homelessness, but also addresses the immediate physiological needs of the current homeless population. New policy should be drafted to plan the creation, management and sustainability of an emergency homeless shelter in the city, which can address physiological needs of the homeless by providing restroom facilities, meals and kitchen facilities, and beds to sleep in.  Additionally, this emergency shelter should have facilities for single individuals and males, as these two categories constitute a large portion of the homeless community in Pomona. This is an economically burdensome policy change and will require in-depth examination of sources for funding such as federal grants.

Solution 4: With the help of the Continuum of Care Coalition, draft policy that would create a center with restroom facilities and kitchen facilities that is open to the homeless population and that the city maintains. This center would not be an emergency shelter because it would not include sleeping facilities; it would only have community restroom, kitchen and dining facilities, as well as lounging facilities (but not beds). Individuals that utilize the center will be given education materials and contacts to consider permanent supportive housing options. This option may be economically preferred to the emergency shelter creation because, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, “providing people experiencing chronic homelessness with permanent supportive housing saves taxpayers money.” However, the National Alliance to End Homelessness does note that there is significant success with providing Housing-First housing options, which first provide housing to the homeless and then suggest that they obtain services to deal with underlying problems (such as substance abuse or mental illness) that may be a factor in their homelessness.

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