SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) introduced new legislation to allow adjacent counties to establish joint multidisciplinary personnel teams (MDTs) to combat homelessness.
“We must allow and encourage counties to work more effectively to address homelessness by permitting information sharing on their homeless populations. Homelessness does not occur in a one-county vacuum, and counties must be able to work together to provide essential services,” said Assemblyman Gallagher.
MDTs are a proven tool that allow teams from a variety of disciplines to coordinate their efforts. MDTs have been used for the past thirty years to address child abuse, allowing county service providers to work together and share case information. More recently, MDTs have been used to address homelessness. However, these MDTs are limited in that they can only coordinate efforts within a single county.
“Yuba and Sutter Counties have made a concentrated effort to work together to address homeless issues as our homeless population often moves freely between our counties. AB 2174 will help further these efforts by allowing us to share information on this population,” said Yuba County Administrator Robert Bendorf. “AB 2174 would allow us to create a bi-county homeless engagement team that would help prevent any delays in connecting homeless individuals to housing and supportive services,” added Sutter County Administrator Steve Smith.
Homeless service providers are located in both Yuba and Sutter counties. Additionally, the counties already have a bi-county health department and a bi-county homeless consortium. AB 2174 would allow contiguous counties, like Yuba and Sutter, to coordinate amongst their agencies and service providers. This will create cost savings and improve government efficiency by preventing duplicative efforts through better coordination, while enhancing the continuity of care for homeless individuals and families.