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BONNIE BELAND, San Clemente
I have been very surprised there have been no comments to date on the city council’s allocation of the $445,000 federal government block grants to address COVID-19 locally.
In my mind, this money should go almost entirely to economic relief for small businesses and directly to or in coordination with a local organization like FAM, which is already set up to aid people in financial distress to prevent homelessness.
With $103,044 allocated for a homeless outreach worker and $89,021 for administrative costs, nearly 50% of the grant is not directly relieving anyone actually in need. I know that we all want better solutions for our city’s homeless problems, but allocating funds from these grants for a liaison is a bit of a stretch, and an additional 20% administration charge is also questionable.
Addressing the existing homeless problem is a far bigger can of worms than what COVID-19 has contributed.
While deaths have risen this past year among the homeless in Orange County, per a recent Orange County Register article, only four out of 310 homeless deaths by Dec. 10 have been attributed to COVID-19.