Local government agencies ranging from large urban cities to small beachside towns are grappling with an influx of homeless residents, leading to dissension among community members, frustration from business operators, and serious public health impacts. While there’s no easy answer to solving this problem, your agency can build trust through open and honest communication focused on the problem’s scope, challenges you face, and what you’re doing for those who need help.
Agencies have seen public confidence erode when decisions are made about engagement center location, encampment changes, public safety intervention, and other actions without a comprehensive communication strategy in place. The issue is emotional as well as practical, and agencies must be clear about why the steps they are taking are for the community’s overall health even if they are temporarily disruptive.
SAE works with your agency to identify those impacted by the homeless, craft a communications strategy that ensures the entire community is informed about your actions, and develop tools that provide opportunities for residents and business operators to efficiently ask questions and offer feedback.