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Lloyd Pendleton, a featured speaker at two events on Thursday in Redding on a model for reducing homelessness, has a track record with the state of Utah as a homelessness champion. And he’s becoming a homelessness expert with some of California’s state legislators as well.
Pendleton worked as the Director of the Homeless Task Force to implement Utah’s statewide plan to end chronic homelessness and reduce overall homelessness by 2014. As of January 2015, the state had reduced its chronic homelessness by 91 percent.
Pendleton has been speaking with a number of state legislators about effective methods to reduce homelessness in California.
This past September, while in Los Angeles, he met with some legislators and learned that they’ve been drafting legislation to create a State Homeless Coordinating Committee and a State Homeless Trust Fund – two key components of Utah’s highly successful “Housing First” initiative.
In Utah, Pendleton said the state puts about $5 million in a Homeless Trust Fund.
“That’s a tax check-off,” he said.
They also channel fund money and use tax credit dollars, along with private donations, to build the housing units.
“Basically, we repurposed existing funds,” he said, “to make this happen. We took existing resources – repurposed them, reprioritized them – to be able to bring the housing online, provide the case management and to provide those housing opportunities.”
Regarding California homelessness, Pendleton said some of the state legislators are coming to Utah next week, where they will take a tour and meet with Utah’s Lt. Governor, who chairs their State Homeless Coordinating Committee.
Pendleton’s been invited to testify at a California state Senate hearing at the end of February in Sacramento, as well.
“It seems that there’s interest by some legislators to create a statewide effort (to address homelessness),” he said.
But, he added “it will take time.”
When asked, Pendleton said he was not aware of any interest from Governor Brown’s office on this issue.
“California has a lot of big alligators to deal with over the years,” he said. “This one – the financial/fiscal areas – it’s a big deal.”
He understands if it hasn’t risen to the top of the Governor’s agenda. But it’s an important issue, he said.
And he should know.
Because of his work with homelessness in Utah, Pendleton was awarded the 2009 Governors Award for Excellence and was also selected as one of the 39 Purpose Prize Fellows from 1,200 applicants as a Social Entrepreneur in a Second Career. He’s currently President and CEO of his own consulting firm.
A man with a passion and deep commitment to end chronic homelessness. Pendleton empowers others to see his vision of what’s possible so they can take up and succeed with this national challenge. The California legislature will find an excellent resource and partner in him.