Pomona OATH Initiative
Pomona “O.A.T.H.” Initiative Gets $4 Million in State Budget to Tackle Homelessness Crisis
In the 2018-2019 State Budget, Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez secured $4 million to help the City of Pomona direct resources to homeless individuals. The new Pomona Officers Assisting the Homeless (O.A.T.H.) initiative will provide local police officers with the proper tools based on nationally-recognized best practices and trauma-informed care for interactions with the homeless population.
This one-time funding will allow the Pomona Police Department to hire up to new officers and mental health counselors to help the city manage its significant homeless population. Under the Pomona O.A.T.H. initiative, homeless liaison officers will be dedicated solely to homeless outreach efforts. During their work in the field, these officers will be accompanied and assisted by health clinicians.
Another aspect of the Pomona O.A.T.H. initiative is the creation and implementation of an intensive Pomona police officers training program. Officers will be trained to direct those in need to critical resources – including affordable housing organizations, mental health services, support for domestic abuse victims, food pantries and/or low-cost or charity healthcare clinics. Officers will also be taught how to administer life-saving drugs to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
Pomona officials have worked diligently to implement the best approach in treating the city’s homeless population, including providing storage and locker space for the homeless community’s belongings. The city is also in the midst of constructing a year-round homeless service center with resources for individuals to secure identification, permanent housing and mental health services, in addition to short-term transitional housing.
In 2017 alone, there were approximately 877 homeless individuals documented in the City of Pomona. This new funding will help relieve some of the strain on our law enforcement officers working in the community by allowing for the creation of a dedicated unit within the police department to address chronic homelessness.