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Alliance For Regional Solutions Plans To Expand In North County

Aired 5/7/12 on KPBS News.

Social service agencies in nine north county cities have decided it’s better to work together rather than compete for scarce resources. The Alliance for Regional Solutions plans to expand.

The Alliance for Regional Solutions began about six years ago, and has built a network of shelters to help keep North County’s homeless off the streets in winter.

The group’s chair, Donald Stump of North County Lifeline, said now they want to build on their experience of coming to the table and working together on homelessness.

“Now we have this great collaboration and we’d like to keep building on it,” Stump said. "So we can build coordinated delivery systems, and so we’re not competing against each other all the time - we’re not fighting over tough resources, we’re coordinating it in a better way.”

Stump said, for example, North County has a Food Policy Council that landed a federal grant to study food availability -- where there are “Food Deserts” and where fresh food is easily available. That report is due to be released this Thursday.

Another initiative, Stump said, could be to better match jobs and job training in North County. Another might be to create some kind of year-round shelter where the homeless can go, at least during the day.

The group, which includes social workers, the League of Women Voters and local churches, has decided to expand its membership and invite members of law enforcement and education to join them.

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