Malibu residents are not waiting for a government solution for their homelessness problem: they are working with a non-profit organization to help provide supplies for the homeless in the meantime, and permanent housing in the longrun.
Malibu's homeless population may finally be getting the attention it deserves according to John Maceri, executive director of Ocean Park Community Center.
The non-profit organization teamed up with Glanda Sherman, an outreach worker who specializes in giving supplies and finding shelters for Malibu's homeless. Sherman said she hopes to get people off the streets and keep them off for good.
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Ocean Park Community Center hired Sherman as part of a full-time professional Palisades homeless outreach team, according to the Palisades Task Force on Homelessness' GoFundMe account.
The task force is trying to raise $500,000 to pay for OPCC's service for a three-year period.
"The Task Force plans to raise $500,000 to pay for three years of OPCC homeless outreach services and the costs associated with signage and brush clearance programs," according to the organization's GoFundMe site.
The old way the city, county and law enforcement dealt with homelessness was to deal with it on a large perspective, Maceri said.
"But too often, individuals get lost in the shuffle," he said. "The goal is really permanent, supported housing."
Sherman builds one-on-one relationships with the homeless community on her weekly walks through Pacific Palisades.
She specializes in reaching out to the homeless, not just to provide temporary assistance, but to eventually get them off the streets for good.
Sherman knows them by name and where they live. The salary she receives is paid for by Palisades residents who donate via the GoFundMe account.
"To know that she has the support of the community behind her, I think, is a very positive thing," said Maceri.