VISTA — During its March 10 meeting, the Vista City Council approved its Homeless Strategic Plan to address the growing homeless population in the city. The detailed plan represents a bold vision and a positive path forward to help transform homelessness into “rare, brief and one-time experiences.”
Amanda Lee, an assistant to the city manager, said the plan addresses the growing homeless population in the city and includes several aspects, such as an internal task force, prevention pilot program, HomeShare coordination services, outreach, encampment clean up, advocacy, securing 10 shelter beds and contracting a full-time social worker.
The annual cost is projected to be $760,000 with a one-time funding source from the state for $250,000, along with $440,000 from Senate Bill 2 and Affordable Housing Fund funds and $70,000 from the General Fund, she said.
“For the safety of the community and environment, encampment cleanups will continue on a continuous, as-needed basis,” Lee said. “A significant priority of the strategic plan is to collect and report data to confirm the city’s resources are making a positive impact.”
The Internal Homelessness Task Force will provide the City Council quarterly updates and add the city’s contracted social worker to the team, according to the staff report.
Also, the Historic Downtown Daytime Outreach Program will delay implementation up to 12 months based on a confirmation from the social worker to ensure this option is a viable resource in downtown.
Staff will research options and continue to work with county, state, and federal agencies to advocate for funding and other resources, and maintenance of local control. Staff will conduct outreach statewide to identify like-minded cities interested in financially supporting efforts to address state legislative and ballot initiative challenges to addressing homelessness.
“Staff will continue to work with county, state and federal agencies to maintain local control and other resources,” Lee said. “In addition, staff will continue to work in collaboration with neighboring cities to establish relationships with county officials and working toward regional solutions.”
The two primary ongoing funding sources for implementation of the strategic plan are $250,000 annually from the AFH and approximately $350,000 per year from state funding via SB 2.