Homelessness panel disbanded

THE HOMELESSNESS TASK FORCE of Westminster was disbanded by the city council Wednesday night in an effort to better focus resources to help the unsheltered (Shutterstock).

The city’s Homelessness Task Force was disbanded Wednesday night by the Westminster City Council, but that doesn’t mean that efforts to cope with the problems of the unsheltered will be abandoned.

A lengthy discussion at the meeting brought the council around to the conclusion that by being a formal city panel, it was subject to all the legal formalities of a city entity, including creating and publishing agendas, keeping minutes and formally coordinating with city staff.

“It’s not passing the buck to disband the committee,” said Christine Cordon, city clerk and communications director.

Instead those former members would have more freedom to meet with faith-based agencies and individuals to work toward solutions that go beyond current efforts.

Jodi Boyd, a member of the HTF, told the council that one of the problems with the city’s efforts was a lack of coordination in city hall.

“We need someone in the driver’s seat,” she said. City Manager Marwan Youssef vowed to correct that. “We will decide who will spearhead this,” he said.

Also on Wednesday night, the council approved a resolution condemning “coronavirus discrimination against Asians and Asian Americans.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck the U.S. a year ago, there has been a marked increase in hate crimes against people of Asian background by those who blame them for spreading what some have termed “the China virus.”

The next meeting of the city council is scheduled for March 24.

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