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Homeless Situation in Escondido
There are presently many homeless support groups in Escondido that offer comprehensive social services. They assist clients in finding long-term solutions that enable them to become self-sufficient. However, there are two critical programs that are lacking in Escondido. One is a year-round shelter with sufficient capacity for all the homeless population of Escondido. The other is the need for a “Crisis Center” that is staffed with social workers to provide shelter and counseling services 24/7 to anyone finding himself in an emergency crisis. The Crisis Center would also act as the principal coordinating center between the person experiencing the crisis and the homeless support groups in Escondido.
ETH advocates that the Escondido City Council accept the responsibility to fund these two additional programs as mandated by California shelter law and the UN shelter law. Links to the details of the CA shelter law and the UN shelter law are on the left hand side of this page.
California Homeless Law
1. The Housing Element Law
Passed in 1969, the California Housing Element Law says each governing body of a local government in California must adopt and execute a comprehensive, long-term general plan for the physical development of its city or county. The law mandates that cities and counties provide enough housing to meet the housing needs of the area, and that officials also must provide housing for people and families of all economic groups, including low-income people, very-low-income people and homeless people. The Housing Element Law was amended in 2008 to strengthen provisions for addressing the housing needs of homeless people.
2. The Planning and Zoning Law
The Planning and Zoning Law, a provision of the Housing Element Law, requires local government agencies to provide housing for very-low-income people and prohibits the agency from obstructing such housing development plans. Many people are homeless only because of a lack of affordable housing in their community. The Planning and Zoning Law requires local government agencies, when planning housing locations, to establish plans to build very-low-income housing that would be easily affordable.
3. Emergency Shelters
The Housing Element Law requires city and county government agencies to designate one or more zones in the community that are appropriate locations to place emergency shelters. The local agency must designate land on which to build housing for the homeless. Emergency shelters must be large enough to accommodate the homeless population of that city or county and must supply housing for all homeless people without admission restrictions or entrance fees.
A large segment of the homeless population suffer from mental disabilities, physical ailments, and drug or alcohol addictions. To further help homeless people, the Planning and Zoning Law says city and local governments must provide substance abuse and mental health services in association with emergency shelters.
Read more: eHow.com — California Law Requiring Cities to Provide Land for the Homeless
Basic tenets for all Americans
Empowering The Homeless is a nonprofit organization established to support homeless individuals in obtaining basic needs: an adequate supply of nutritious food, reasonable shelter, and necessary medical care.
The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights states that these needs should be met for everyone on the planet. Yet many individuals in the United States — through no fault of their own — lack what most of us take for granted.
Based in Escondido, California, ETH, is focusing on our own community by taking specific action that is described on our Vision page.
UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights
World Homeless Day
Homeless World Cup
Power to End Poverty