ADVOCACY COMMITTEE

The growth of homelessness in the United States was fostered in great part by policy decisions.  The Task Force works toward the establishment of legislation, policy, and projects that end homelessness and assist those who have lost their homes.  This effort is lead by a committee of the Board, which welcomes the participation of other Task Force members.  To get involved contact Georgia Berland at gberland@aol.com.

The objectives for the Advocacy Committee are:

  • an adequate supply of homes that are accessible to people at all income levels,  and sufficient permanent supportive housing (with services) for people with disabilities.
  • sufficient operational funds for services to prevent and end homelessness in Sonoma County.
  • availability of vital homeless services as identified by the Task Force and the Continuum of Care.
  • access to integrated care, including physical and behavioral health services for homeless people and those at risk of homelessness.
  • legislation, policies, and projects that help to end homelessness and assist those who have lost their homes.

To achieve those goals,

  • We advocate at the local, state, and federal levels through personal contact, letters, testimony, petitions, meetings, community education, and other actions:
    • for affordable homes throughout Sonoma County, with a specific request that a portion of that housing be made available and affordable for extremely low income people, e.g. those on SSI.
    • for shelter and services with a focus on unmet needs.
    • for living wages so that people can afford to live in Sonoma County.
    • for emergency shelter and services for those who cannot or will not meet the standards of most programs.
    • for policies and programs that help to end and do not criminalize homelessness (for example, housing trust funds, addressing anti-camping and anti-sleeping ordinances and enforcement policies).
    • for programs that help end homelessness and eliminate barriers to self-sufficiency, such as Re-entry and Homeless Court services.
    • for access to services that assist people toward health and self-sufficiency, including access to integrated care, including physical and behavioral health services.
  • We convene and participate in dialog with others:
    • to optimize the use of existing funding and services.
    • to maximize operational funding available for homeless services.
    • to help identify and direct funding to priority operational gaps.
    • to further mutual goals.
  • We provide advocacy and public testimony at the local, state and federal levels:
    • for policy and legislation relating to or impacting homelessness and affordable homes.
    • for projects that provide needed housing, shelter and services.
  • The Task Force provides moneys from the Fund for the Homeless
    • to recognize exemplary service in the provider community.
    • to recognize community leaders who support homeless issues.
    • to address countywide direct homeless service needs such as the Homeless Resource Guide and Voice mail Programs.