Coming in March 2022: A Summit on Homelessness

A first-of-its-kind summit will bring together stakeholders across Monterey and San Benito counties in March 2022 to address homelessness in the region.

The Coalition of Homeless Service Providers is partnering with the Community Foundation for Monterey County, MBEP, the City of Salinas, and the County of Monterey to host the Summit on Homelessness in March 2022.

“It’s an opportunity to educate our jurisdictions and partners as to how they can be a part of the solution,” says Coalition of Homeless Service Providers Executive Officer Roxanne Wilson. “The purpose is to bring all the elected officials in Monterey and San Benito counties to the table, so as to understand what it takes to serve this population and what it’s going to take to eradicate homelessness.”

A key element of what that will take, says Wilson, centers around housing policy.

While there is a widely held misconception that homelessness is largely the result of substance abuse and mental health issues, Wilson says the reality is that high housing costs, housing scarcity, and the public policies that drive those issues are significant factors that contribute to the problem. And in a region such as the Central Coast, where those housing costs are extreme, homelessness needs to be understood and addressed as a policy issue.

The Coalition of Homeless Service Providers is a group of private nonprofit and public organizations working together to address the complex issue of homelessness, with the aim of eliminating homelessness in Monterey and San Benito counties by promoting regional partnerships and interagency collaboration. In July, the Coalition released a draft of its 5 Year Plan to Reduce Homelessness, a plan developed over the course of a year in partnership with the County of Monterey, the County of San Benito, and the City of Salinas.
Photo courtesy of Coalition of Homeless Service Providers.