The City of Paramount, working with the City of Bellflower and the non-profit organization PATH, has developed a "Plan to Prevent and Combat Homelessness" that outlines priorities in addressing these issues in both cities. Funding from Measure H through the County Homeless Initiative has made the plan possible.
The Paramount City Council reviewed a draft of this plan at its July 3 meeting and is scheduled to approve it on July 17.
The plan reflects a collaborative process that involved meetings with residents and expert interviews among other forms of input.
Goals include educating residents about homelessness, increasing awareness of the City's efforts to address homelessness, increasing access to homeless services in Paramount, and preventing Paramount residents from becoming homeless.
Suggested actions include: creating storage options for belongings of people experiencing homelessness and increasing accessibility to hygiene resources like showers, bathrooms and laundry services; promoting homeless services at City and County facilities like parks; funding motel vouchers; forming a Paramount Homeless Coalition that includes providers, interested residents, law enforcement, faith communities, and business owners; tracking vacant rental units and encouraging Paramount landlords to rent to people exiting homelessness; and identifying underutilized lots or buildings that could be turned into affordable housing.
One component of the public education outreach is advice on how best to approach a homeless person when attempting to assist them.