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Monterey County Board of Supervisors discusses plan to reduce homelessness

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) The Monterey County Board of Supervisors will discuss the "Lead Me Home" plan, a five-year plan to reduce homelessness in Monterey and San Benito Counties by 50%.

According to their report, in 2019, there were 2,422 experiencing homelessness in Monterey County and 282 people in San Benito County.

A woman who goes by the name of Wildfire Daystarr has been homeless since 2017 and has been jumping around from place to place ever since. She says one of the problems is the cost of living.

"I had three jobs, I got here in 1996, I started off with one job, it wasn’t enough, went to two jobs, wasn’t enough, went to three jobs and that’s as much I could do and it still wasn’t enough,” Daystarr said.

The county is planning to address these issues through the plan with stable and permanent housing, accessibility to shelters, and providing equitable services.

“There is a serious problem, we have a service desert in South County. We have a service desert in the peninsula and we still have people who are living unsheltered in both areas so we want to make surer there's equity across the board," Roxanne Wilson, the Executive Director of the Coalition of Homeless Providers said.

The plan also details the goal of reduction of homeless each year, gradually making it towards a reduction of half by 2026. For Daystarr, the situation in the streets is dire. She's calling for cities not to perform homeless sweeps.

"If we don’t stop the sweeps right now, people are going to die. they’re at their ends," Daystarr said.

The purpose is to get feedback and build support that will result in action from local governments and counties. The next step is a regional summit in the Spring.

 

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Stephanie Aceves

Stephanie Aceves is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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