The homeless population in Southern California has been on the rise for several years and the numbers continue to grow.The East San Gabriel Valley region where the cities of Azusa, Covina, Glendora, and West Covina are located is no exception.
The homeless population in the region often experience mental health issues, substance abuse disorders, and other serious health problems.Although it is not illegal to be homeless, law enforcement resources are frequently tasked with trying to assist the homeless while also addressing quality of life issues in public areas.
In an effort to strengthen our abilities to assist the homeless and address community concerns, the police departments from Azusa, Covina, Glendora and West Covina requested funding from the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) in 2016.The agencies were granted one time funding to form the East San Gabriel Valley Homeless Assistance Liaison Officer (ESGHALO) Team.
ESGHALO will consist of officers from Azusa PD, Covina PD, Glendora PD, and West Covina PD.Since many of the homeless experience mental health issues, a representative from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health has also been brought in as part of the team.One week each month the team will work in the four communities to address ongoing issues associated with the homeless population in the region.
Although ESGHALO will take some necessary enforcement action, the emphasis will be to work collaboratively with local community groups and regional partners to offer homeless persons the opportunity to achieve independence and stability by working toward finding permanent housing solutions.The intent is to do outreach and provide service with dignity, compassion, and support.
On June 12, 2017 the ESGHALO Team began their efforts to address homeless issues in our communities.Additional press releases will be sent out in the future as pertinent information becomes available.
If you have any questions regarding this news release, please contact Lieutenant Mike Bertelsen at (626) 812-3200.
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