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Marina resident shares concerns about homelessness

MARINA, Calif. (KION) The homeless crisis continues to be a concern on the Central Coast, and some residents say they feel as if their safety is in jeopardy with the number of unhoused. For the homeless community, there is frustration over finding places to stay.

Counties and cities around the Central Coast have been trying to address the homeless problem for years, but it is not a simple fix.

One resident, Mariel in Marina, wrote in for Message Max asking KION to look into whether anything is going to be done to address the homeless population in Marina, saying it does not feel safe to walk around town or go on a walk near the beach because of the homeless residents living nearby.

According to Marina Mayor Bruce Delgado, the homeless problem is not a concern for the majority of residents.

"We've never had a lot of public telling us we should do more for the homeless. We really hear strongly about streets and parks," he said.

About a month ago, 12,000 postcards went out to residents of Marina asking them to share their priorities.

"Homelessness came out very low on the feedback from residents," Delgado said.

District 4 Supervisor Wendy Root Askew said the new 10-year plan to combat homelessness is currently being written up.

"If you look at the city's budget, there's no line item that says 'Oh, this is the money you have to spend on unsheltered residents,'" she said.

Technically Marina hosts the most shelter beds because of the number of nonprofit and public service organizations, but funding comes from nonprofit and county grant dollars.

"So when we say Marina is hosting-- Marina the city is not paying for. Marina, the city is the jurisdiction where these shelters are being operated."

Askew hopes to have a summit this summer for different city officials to gather to fully understand the 10-year-plan and the different pieces to the puzzle. She says there is still so much that needs to be done not only in Marina but other cities on the Central Coast too.

If you are a homeless Monterey County resident, there are several resources you could take advantage of:

  • Public Benefits- Learn more about cash assistance, food stamps, child support help or health insurance here.
  • Food Assistance- Learn more about WIC, CalFresh and the Food Bank for Monterey County here.
  • Medical Needs- Find information about help for general health needs, mental health, family planning, addiction recovery and HIV/AIDS and Hep C here.
  • Domestic Violence- If you are a domestic violence victim in need of an emergency shelter, learn more here.
  • Transitional Housing- Learn more about transitional housing programs and how to apply here.
  • Inmate Re-entry, Immigration, Low-Income Child Care, Transportation, Employment and Senior Services: If you have any of these additional needs, you can learn more about available resources here.

For more information about resources, take a look at the Monterey County Homeless Services Resource Guide linked below.

Do you have a question or concern? Message Max by emailing newstips@kion546.com, find him on Facebook as Max Tarlton KION or find him on Twitter with the handle @maxtarlton.

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Max Tarlton

Max Tarlton is a morning anchor at KION News Channel 5/46.

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