Valley News -

By Tony Ault
Staff Writer 

Lake Elsinore Council declares homeless shelter 'crisis' in bid for SB 850 funding


Last updated 11/9/2018 at 12:08am

Lake Elsinore City Council joined other southwest Riverside County communities in declaring a “homeless shelter crisis” to capture some funding to help the city’s homeless from $9.7 million awarded to the county by Senate Bill 850.

Gov. Jerry Brown and the state Legislature, seeing the increasing homeless problems facing cities and counties across the state, signed SB 850 to provide $500 million to help the thousands of homeless across the state find adequate housing or emergency shelter.

Many Riverside County cities, however, could not declare enough homeless – 1,000 per city – without shelter to receive any funding from the measure. Riverside County qualified for $9.7 million of the measure that will be administered by the Continuum of Care and the Department of Public Social Services.

But in order to receive the funding, each city was required to declare by resolution a “homeless shelter crisis” in the community by Nov. 1 and submit proposals for aid.

Lake Elsinore did declare a crisis at their Oct. 23 meeting. The city reported reducing much of the homeless problems in the past year, yet some still are in need of assistance. More and more people in southwest Riverside county and the Inland Empire are finding themselves homeless because of the high cost of housing and reported lack of low cost rentals.

The council heard a report that the requested funding will help those close to becoming homeless and in need of better mental health facilities in the city. Mental illness is one of the key factors in bringing about homelessness, according to studies along with the lack of help needed for those sufferers.

The funds are also expected to help prevent homelessness among youth and youth at risk and provide emergency aid to those who suddenly find themselves on the street in crisis.

Applications need to be completed by Dec. 31 with funding awards set for distribution by July 2019.

In other business, the city council heard an update on the city’s capital highway projects from Senior Engineer Ramon Habib. He said the Camino Del Norte Road realignment construction will begin January 2019 and include Canyon Estates Drive.

The Interstate 15/Railroad Canyon interchange project construction award is expected to be made with Caltrans in June 2020.

The Railroad Canyon Widening, which will take the road to three lanes, and pavement rehabilitation project is expected to begin this month.

The Graham Avenue pavement rehabilitation project has been completed with striping underway.

The Lakeshore Drive Sidewalk Project is also underway and should be done by the end of November, Habib said. The road was closed this past week to place the new curbs, gutters and sidewalk.

The environment research phase for the I-15/Central Avenue interchange by Caltrans and the city is in the process with its completion and report coming at the end of 2019.

Tony Ault can be reached by email at [email protected]


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