Marin County became the sixth community to use a CSH Charrette to update their plan to prevent and end homelessness last week. Over 150 people – business owners, providers, government, consumers, neighborhood representatives and others – came together over two days to participate in fishbowls around key issue areas that Marin decided were priorities for the community.
A new issue that CSH had not covered in any previous Charrette drew the largest crowd – criminalization of homelessness.
As a result of this discussion, CSH made several recommendations to help the community of Marin to best respond to people who are homeless and highly visible to the community. These included training and support programs to help both the police and people experiencing homelessness to better understand how to interact with one another as well as developing a community based crisis intervention team to be available to police, providers and other people in the community to respond to individuals who may need such assistance.
In addition to this session, 5 others addressed diverse issues – from prevention activities to harm reduction.
“The community was very pleased with the process and we had a great turn out. You have a true believer in this Charrette process,” said Lisa Sepahi, Homelessness Analyst, County of Marin Health and Human Services.
An estimated 1,220 people experience homelessness in Marin, with 19% experience long-term or chronic homelessness.