Application, granted: County receives state grant to ameliorate homelessness | TheUnion.com

Application, granted: County receives state grant to ameliorate homelessness

Sam Corey
Staff Writer

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to tackle homelessness continues to manifest in Nevada County.

This week Hospitality House announced receiving the Peace Officer Standards and Training grant, made available by state funding.

The nonprofit received about $151,000 — in collaboration with the Nevada City and Grass Valley police departments, and the county sheriff’s office as well as its behavioral health department — to develop a curriculum to train safety officers to more effectively manage and help the homeless population.

“It is about, what are the best ways to engage someone who is dealing with homelessness?” said Ashley Quadros, development director for Hospitality House. Quadros said the nonprofit applied for the grant last fall and was awarded it in April.

While Quadros admits these agencies already interact with each other to aid the county’s homeless population, she said the added funding will allow a collective, coherent plan to address issues, rather than try to resolve problems associated with homelessness in an atomized fashion.

“We’re more powerful if we’re sharing these successes, if we’re working together to best train each other,” Quadros said.

Lessons from a thorough “fact-finding” mission to understand different iterations of homelessness and how to resolve them in the county will be collected into a curriculum by spring 2020, the development director said. Over the upcoming year leaders from these five institutions will observe how other cities unite their civil society sector and law enforcement agencies to resolve homelessness in San Diego, Santa Rosa, Modesto, Woodland and Sacramento.

The goal is to build a standardized model across agencies best suited to help Nevada County’s homeless.

“I think the consistency is probably the key to this,” said Alex Gammelgard, police chief for the Grass Valley Police Department. He added that the grant provides the county a unique opportunity to do work around homelessness that is universal across three law enforcement jurisdictions.

Quadros agreed, adding that the project is meant to be comprehensive. Over the year safety officers will review large sets of data on the causes and cycles of homelessness, analyze hands-on mitigation strategies and partake in role-playing exercises to prepare themselves before going into the field.

“We are really leaders in this industry to make curriculum,” said Quadros.

Contact Sam Corey at 530-477-4219 or at scorey@theunion.com.


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