Rosemead aims to tackle homelessness with new campaign

A image of Rosemead City Hall.

Photo courtesy of the City of Rosemead

Rosemead City Hall where city council meetings are held.

Sherman Liang, Community News Reporter

The city of Rosemead received a special round of funds aimed to help those without homes.

An amount of $1,222,084 was awarded from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to be used on services that provide aid to those who experience homelessness in Rosemead.

According to data collected by the Los Angeles Homelessness Services Authority (LAHSA), the homeless population in Rosemead has gradually increased from 20 homeless persons in 2016 to 79 homeless in 2021.

In an effort to support and reduce the homeless population in the city, Rosemead’s city council drafted a plan to distribute the funds.

In the HOME-ARP Allocation Plan, the city proposed to spend $1,038,772 on supportive services such as housing, counseling, homelessness prevention, childcare, job training, legal services, case management and rental assistance. The rest would be spent on administrative services to manage and operate the HOME-ARP program, which is a federal homelessness assistance and supportive services program. 

According to the California Department of Housing and Community Development, “The HOME-ARP program aims to assist individuals or households who are experiencing homelessness, at risk of experiencing homelessness, and other vulnerable populations, by providing funding for rental housing, rental assistance, supportive services, and non-congregate shelters.”

Rosemead City Council Member and Vice Chairwoman of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) Homelessness Committee Margaret Clark, who has been a committee member for the last 30 years, voiced her support for the plan.

“I’m very much in favor of this program because I think addressing homeless people’s needs and helping them get out of homelessness is the best way for us to do it,” Clark said.

Across Los Angeles County, there are many organizations dedicated to helping those who are experiencing homelessness, including the Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse (L.A. CADA), which has been contracted by the SGVCOG to provide services to those experiencing homelessness in Rosemead. L.A. CADA aims to give them housing, medical services, substance abuse treatment and more. 

L.A. CADA is one of the few programs in LA County that pursue proactive outreach to aid the homeless population on-site instead of having them come to the program themselves. They have offered a proposal to the city of Rosemead, through the COG, to use the HOME-ARP funds to create new programs and resources within the city to aid the homeless population.

The city plans to allocate over $1 million to contract with L.A. CADA or a program like it to provide homes to people without housing in Rosemead.

In the wake of the new campaign aimed at assisting those who are experiencing homelessness, councilmember Sandra Armenta discussed the growing homeless population in Rosemead.

“Many times we see an agency come in and try to tackle homelessness and nothing is changing. Even if you go from one city to the next, the issues are going to be different,” Armenta said.

The councilwoman hopes that by partnering with an organization like L.A. CADA, the city of Rosemead will be better equipped to tackle homelessness.

To receive HOME-ARP funds, Rosemead must follow a set of prerequisite requirements. It must conduct a public hearing to receive citizen input on activities and funding, publish a draft allocation plan where citizens are given an opportunity to provide feedback on the final document for 15 days, and conduct a public hearing on the final Home Investment Partnerships Program American Rescue Plan, according to the HOME-ARP Allocation Plan.

Although the city has yet to complete all the prerequisite requirements to receive the funds, the council is working towards completing the requirements and discussing with organizations that work to aid those who are homeless in California.