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LETTER: Navigator program is working, but homeless have to want help

Letter submitted by Citrus Heights Police Dept. —
[RE: I’m homeless, and the ‘Navigator program’ in Citrus Heights isn’t working; Letter, Dec. 9th]  Homelessness continues to be a challenge in Citrus Heights and throughout the nation; however, the City of Citrus Heights remains committed to providing services to those in need.

Navigator services include, but are not limited to, housing resources, help with obtaining DMV identifications, help obtaining social security cards, attorney referrals, receiving food stamps, obtaining birth certificates, finding employment opportunities, securing medical insurance, and obtaining cell phones.

Our Navigator has permanently housed 130 individuals during 2018. Permanently housed means expected housing for at least 6 months. The Navigator makes every effort to follow up with the individuals.

There are two classifications of homeless, Class I and Class II. Class I homeless is defined as those who stayed in a car, park, on the street, or in a hotel with a hotel voucher the night before meeting with the Navigator. Class II homeless are those who are at risk of becoming homeless. Class II homeless are critically important because once an individual is homeless, helping them becomes much more challenging.

It is important to understand that an individual has to be willing to work with the Navigator to be able to receive resources available through the Navigator. There are many individuals the Navigator and our officers have provided resource information to, including the author of the “Letter to the Editor,” who have not yet attempted to connect with the Navigator.

We have reached out to The Sentinel and asked them to refer individuals to our Navigator if they are contacted by someone who is in need of housing assistance. The City of Citrus Heights and the Citrus Heights Police Department will continue to work diligently to help those in need of housing or other services available through the Navigator. For those who are not willing and continue to violate local, state, or federal laws, we will balance education with enforcement.

If you know anyone in need of housing in Citrus Heights, please contact our Navigator at (916) 533-3069.

Want to share your thoughts on homelessness in Citrus Heights? The Sentinel’s policy is to publish every letter that comes in. Click here to submit a letter to the editor.

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