Damon Connolly on Homelessness

Marin County needs to play a more effective role in working to alleviate homelessness, a countywide issue of growing importance that affects all of Marin’s communities.      

A majority of the County’s services to homeless are provided through funding of mental health and supportive services.  I would like to scrutinize the County’s $46 million mental health budget to evaluate how funding for mental health services could work in conjunction with funding for homeless services to maximize their efficiency.

We should find a new location for the Helen Vine detox center because the property owners have asked the Vine Center to leave.  The services they provide are crucial for helping those in crisis instead of going to jail or taking up a bed in an emergency room. 

The rotating emergency shelter (REST) program has been successful and an important part of addressing the safety net we offer to the homeless in our community.  The Marin Organizing Committee (MOC), led by faith-based organizations, is actively spearheading a community-based process to look at alternatives including a permanent location.  I am working with MOC to make sure we have an effective, broad approach. 

As a member of the San Rafael City Council, we’ve come up with many innovative programs like the Downtown Streets Team, which has put members of the homeless population to work cleaning streets.  I have been very happy to see that as a result of this program, twelve of the participants have moved on to full-time employment. 

If you have more specific questions, please email Damon at damon@damonconnolly.com.

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