By GABRIELLA BOCK | Reporter
The Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness’ latest meeting on Monday, Sept. 25, revealed that Pacific Palisades was the only area in Los Angeles County to reduce this year’s annual LAHSA Homeless Count numbers by 50 percent.
The good news was shared by John Maceri, executive director of The People Concern (formerly OPCC), who applauded the task force before presenting an overview of the inner workings of the Palisades outreach team.
Hitting the pavement five days a week are PPTFH outreach social workers Maureen Rivas and Glanda Sherman, along with nurse Nancy Pierre Paul and Dr. Ryan from the Venice Family Clinic who provide on-the-go medical services to our homeless neighbors.
Together, usually through numerous attempts, the team works tirelessly to develop healthy, long-lasting exchanges with the Palisades’ most vulnerable individuals.
Once that initial trust is earned, engaged transients are referred to The People Concern’s Annenberg Access Center in Santa Monica where they can receive a full range of essential services, including meals, clothing, mail and phone services, case management, mental health counseling and medical care.
From there, the organization builds a bridge to permanent housing by providing the individual with safe, interim shelter and a guide who will assist clients with the sometimes arduous process of retrieving identification documents, finding employment and applying for state benefits.
“That old saying is true: It takes a village,” Maceri explained. “By creating safe, open and friendly spaces we are leading the way in building the essential relationships required for truly effective outreach.”