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By Daniel Ritz
During their meeting in City Council Chambers at City Hall on Oct. 25, the Dana Point Homeless Task Force passed a motion to ask city staff to research details in order to consider a full–time homeless care coordinator.
This motion was made after Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9934 Post Commander Wayne Yost noted the possible financial benefits of having a full-time expert on city staff. Currently, Dana Point contracts Stephanie Ogas of Mercy House two days a week.
Larry Haynes, executive director of Mercy House, gave a presentation showing a total of 64 homeless individuals in Dana Point, described 46 individuals as qualified for permanent supportive housing and 17 individuals eligible for rapid rehousing.
Haynes said permanent supportive housing is, “expensive but proven to work,” and said that Mercy House has a track record of a 95 percent retention rate. According to Mercy House’s statistics, the current cost to house these eligible individuals would be approximately $680,000.
Several committee members mentioned that although the cost seemed like a large financial commitment, continued medical and law enforcement costs for these individuals would quickly supersede that quantity.
The next Homeless Task Force meeting is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 27, from 3-5 p.m at City Council Chambers at City Hall, located at 33282 Street of the Golden Lantern, Dana Point.