Affordable Housing News, Action Update, With a Great Joy….

28 Feb

February 28, 2023

Hi All!

The call today is urgent! May we not linger, wait, leave it for another day, what we can do today. As a believer I pray our hearts would be stirred up collectively to righteousness and justice as instructed in Psalms 89:14. Today I hope you will hear the voice of righteousness and justice through Rick Cole, in this article where you will read his simple, yet profound plan to end homelessness in Pasadena. There are so many ways, as presented in this newsletter to be a part of God’s move in our city to help, to change, to touch the life of another with righteousness and justice. I know, I’m also tempted to procrastinate, but this is too important! Let’s not leave it for another day. Marisol Torres

 Stories in this issue:

  • Join us for an hour-long “MHCH 101” and learn how you can engage in our housing justice work, a monthly series starting at 7 pm on Tuesday, March 7.
  • 2023 State Housing and Homeless Bills—Which ones do we support? And how?  MHCH Housing Justice Forum on Tuesday, March 28, at 7 pm.
  • How To Assert Your New Rights as a Tenant Under Pasadena’s Rent Control Law.
  • LA County Faith Summit on Homelessness: 9:00 am-1:00 pm, March 7 at Lake Ave Church.
  • Rick Cole’s Five-Point Plan to End Homelessness in Pasadena.
  • News of Pasadena’s City Council: 710 Working Group and the Need for Motel Vouchers for our Unhoused Neighbors.
  • Black Affordable Housing Rock Stars: The Sharrods and Community Land Trust by Anthony Manousos
  • The Black History Parade and the N. Fair Oaks Empowerment Initiative by Jill Shook and Anthony Manousos with videos of Dr. Gilbert Walton and Genee Johnson sharing their stories.
  • Homeless Memorial at All Saint Church in Pasadena on Monday, March 6, at 6:00 pm.

 Click Here:

 Rick Cole’s Five-Point Plan to End Homelessness in Pasadenae83328_986ef8aa25cf4cc1a397a082e8cf9e39_mv2

 Rick Cole wrote a powerful op ed calling for a realistic and attainable plan to end homelessness in our city, which is a “must read” (see Pasadena Now). His assertion that we should treat homelessness as an emergency (akin to an earthquake) seems especially relevant as another chilling winter storm is about to strike our city and our region and we have motel vouchers for, at most, 50-80 people out of the nearly 300 who are living on the street, Here are the steps Cole feels we as a city need to take to address this dire emergency. We’re interested in learning more about this plan. Please let us know if you’d like to learn more by contacting

The Pasadena Partnership’s plan seeks “evidence-based best practices to help reduce homelessness.” They don’t have to look far. Perhaps the most successful model is called “Built for Zero.” Community Solutions is a national non-profit funded by major foundations to develop and test evidence-based best practices.  You can find them here.  Their best practices for ending homelessness are as simple as they are bold:

  1. Create a shared definition of success: Pasadena, like too many other cities, focuses on managing homelessness through outreach, referrals and as the Partnership Plan advocates, providing food, clothing, toiletries, laundry, and showers to the unhoused. Real success should be measured by driving the number of homelessness to “functional zero,” meaning it should be “rare, brief and non-recurring.”
  1. Assemble an accountable, community-wide team: Ever heard of “the Pasadena Partnership to End Homelessness”? Neither had I and I serve on the Planning Commission and teach a class on homelessness at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy. To end homelessness, the City, School District, Community College, businesses, churches, non-profits and neighborhood groups need to be working closely together, with a core team that meets weekly to track progress.
  2. Use real-time data, which accounts for everyone by name and need: Pasadena conducted the first ever annual Point in Time count in California back in 1993. But in 2023 we should be using daily information collected and shared with the consent of unhoused individuals where each person on the list has a file that includes their name, homeless history, health, and housing needs. The Federal government actually mandates such a database, but it is confined to non-profit service providers. Emergency responders, medical professionals, schools, law enforcement, transit agencies, libraries and every other entity encountering people experiencing homelessness needs to coordinate their efforts to help get people the services and housing they need.
  3. Center racial equity: while Black people make up just 8% of the population of Pasadena, they make up 34% of our homeless population. Unless we are prepared to confront Pasadena’s long history of racially-segregated housing and discrimination, we can’t get to the root of solving it.
  4. Target data-driven housing investments: Pasadena is without a local source of funding for fighting homelessness or providing affordable housing. We have many needs in our community, but none rank higher than ending the scourge of people living in misery on our streets. If Pasadena is truly “the center of the universe” as Mayor Victor Gordo proudly proclaims, it should be the center of solutions to this human catastrophe in our midst.

These five evidence-based best practices have produced remarkable results in scores of communities around America. Pasadena should get on board to end homelessness, not to tolerate and “manage” it. The longer we wait, the higher the cost in wasted tax dollars and devastated lives.

 Rick Cole is a current Pasadena Planning Commissioner and a former Mayor of Pasadena. He serves as Chief Deputy Controller for the City of Los Angeles.

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