Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D – Fullerton), Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Orange County Homelessness and Mental Health Services organized a hearing between local officials, mental health providers, and homeless outreach service providers to engage in addressing the growing concerns of homelessness and mental health facing Orange County.
“I understand there are many roadblocks to providing housing for the county’s growing population of chronically homeless people, as well as services for those with mental health issues. There is no simple answer to addressing such complex problems, but we are working to make sure this can be done,” said Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva.
The Assembly Select Committee on Orange County Homelessness and Mental Health Services is a bipartisan committee created to identify opportunities to strengthen ongoing working relationships between advocates, non-profits, the private sector, as well as local and state government, to combat Orange County’s homeless population and address those in need of mental health services.
“Education has proven to be the most effective tool in reducing hospitalization and improving outcomes,” said Matt Holzmann, Government Relations Liaison for NAMI OC. “I’m here as a parent of individuals with serious mental illness, as two of my children were out on the streets and suffered from addiction, one died of suicide and one is in recovery. I’ve spent time working with law enforcement in the jails and treatment facilities, and what we have learned is when families and individuals are educated and involved, better decisions can be made. It’s not just housing. Much has been accomplished, but we have much more to do!”
“I want to thank Assembly Member Sharon Quirk Silva, for her continued support of local government as we address the challenges of homelessness and the need for more housing in Orange County, said Mayor David Shawver, City of Stanton. “She has worked tirelessly representing the people of the 65th Assembly District, and today’s hearing was a prime example of Assembly Member Quirk-Silva’s dedication to solving these needs in Orange County.”
California currently has the highest numbers of homeless people in the nation, with 1 in 4 individuals living with a serious mental health illness. The committee continues to remain dedicated to working together with local leaders, private and non-profit entities, and advocates to resolving the growing concerns of chronic homelessness and mental health services in Orange County.