Huntington Beach Takes New Collaborative Approach to Homelessness

Huntington Beach is expanding its strategy to help the homeless by creating new partnerships with local nonprofits and the police department’s Homeless Task Force. “It’s a true partnership with everybody in the community. Everybody’s got a stake in the game,” Lt. David Dereszynski, executive officer of the Homeless Task Force, told The Epoch Times. The California city’s collaborative approach really kicked off in December 2020, with the opening of the Navigation Center, a large tent-like facility with 174 beds that cost $2 million. The partnerships revolve around the center, which is operated by the nonprofit Mercy House with an annual city contract of $3.5 million. Donations and volunteer work help offset some of the costs, said Dereszynski. The center currently houses only 50 people, due to COVID-19 restrictions. It is intended as a low-barrier shelter for the homeless to enter up to 120 days each and connect with resources they …

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