Homeless Encampment Challenges in the Prado Basin Area
As a resident of District 2, I share many of the concerns I have heard from residents and business owners alike regarding the homeless population. I have heard stories from residents concerned about home values and safety. I have seen the damages to local parks and facilities. From local business owners, I have heard about the increase in break-ins and vandalism. I’m also concerned about the very real chances of rapidly spreading fires caused by open flames used for cooking. The answer is not as simple as sending a police force into the entire area and removing anyone making an encampment.
I think first we need to forge a working relationship with all the municipalities and entities that are operating in the area. This is not an easy task! You have federal entities, multiple county and city entities and inside those organizations, you have changing personnel. This is a nightmare for a cooperative task force. I have found that in order to be successful in this type of environment, only one thing works and that’s relentless pursuit. This concept goes beyond the occasional email or phone call to be able to “report progress” as a councilman. Sometimes you have to go and knock on doors loudly to be heard, you need to talk to people as well, you need to understand who the key players are and understand who the people are that can actually do something. This won’t happen overnight, but with concerted effort, we can come together with focus and purpose.
With the addition of three new members on city council in 2018, the city is moving forward on ways to combat the challenges the homeless in Corona face. I think this is great and I want to support this effort. My priority first is to work on making the city safer from the vandalism and vagrancy associated with the homeless. My second priority is being a part of the team that is working towards helping those in need.