“I want to thank everyone who took the time to participate in the survey and share their views on the best ways to offer assistance to people experiencing homelessness and address the public health and safety impacts on the community,” said Mayor Rick Mullen. “Homelessness is a humanitarian crisis, and I am proud that our community is addressing this extremely difficult issue head-on.”
Of the 572 people who participated in the survey, 88% live in Malibu and 60% work in the City. Most respondents, 80%, rated homelessness as a serious issue affecting the community, and 89% said that problems associated with homelessness have increased over time.
More than half, 60%, had known someone personally who has been homeless and 6%, or 33 respondents, had been homeless themselves.
Nearly two thirds of respondents, 65%, reported having encountered a problem with a homeless person in Malibu, and 53% have volunteered with an organization that provided services to the homeless.
When asked what they thought were the best ways to address homelessness, most respondents, 75%, were in favor of developing a case management program for individuals released from jail, medical care, mental health programs and other institutions in order to prevent homelessness, and 77% supported readily available treatment for mental illness and substance abuse.
The City will host a community meeting in May during which the survey findings, and the draft of the Homeless Strategic Plan will be presented. During the meeting, the public will have the opportunity to give feedback that will be incorporated into the plan’s development. The details of the meeting will be announced on the City’s website and social media.
In response to increasing homelessness in Malibu, the City secured a $50,000 grant in October 2017 from Los Angeles County to help fund the development of a Homeless Strategic Plan. The goals of the plan are to assist homeless individuals in a more effective way, mitigate public health and public safety impacts, and align Malibu’s local efforts with those of the Los Angeles County region. The grant is part of Los Angeles County’s Measure H, an initiative approved by voters in March 2017 to place a 10-year, ¼ cent sales tax to help fund housing and support services for the homeless population throughout the County.
Since 2016, two dedicated, full-time outreach workers from the non-profit The People Concern have been conducting outreach and offering services to the homeless population in Malibu, funded by The Malibu Task Force on Homelessness with a contribution from the City. The City and the County recently announced that a meal service for homeless people will be provided at the County’s former Court House building in the Civic Center. Details of the program will be announced.