"All manner of life events can push someone into homelessness or put them at risk of homelessness," says Dan Baldwin, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Monterey County.
"We have to move beyond the stigma that homeless people are in this circumstance by choice or because they refuse to participate in the economy."
Baldwin was speaking at a summit last week in Monterey County, Calif., where more than 300 community leaders, city and county staff, legislators, experts, and residents came together to tackle the issue, KSBW reports.
"Homelessness cannot be solved without housing," said Dhakshike Wickrema, California's new deputy secretary of homelessness at the State of California Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency.
"It will take all of us working together - public, private, nonprofits, foundations, housed and unhoused - if we're going to make any progress to ensure that if Californians do experience homelessness, that episode is rare, brief, and nonrecurring," she said in her opening remarks.
A recent Point-in-Time Count found that 2,047 homeless people were living on the streets in Monterey County at the end of 2018, down from 2,422 people a year earlier, per the Monterey Herald.
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