Pasadena Public Library’s New Social Worker Program Partners to Help the Homeless

From Pasadena Now

“For years, it’s been difficult to visit Pasadena’s public libraries without noticing the homeless.Like many public libraries across the country, Pasadena’s have increasingly become havens for the homeless who take daily refuge amidst the quiet, air-conditioned book stacks and at the reading tables.Now, Pasadena’s public libraries have partnered with the Pasadena Public Health Department and the Department of Housing and Career Services in collaboration with the Union Station Coordinated Entry System program to assist homeless individuals who frequent the City’s libraries for temporary shelter.Through a program called the Library Care Navigator Project, the Public Health Department has assigned one care navigator at the Hill Avenue Branch Library, and is looking to assign another at the Pasadena Central Library at Walnut Street, to focus on assisting the homeless.The position is library-funded, says Angelica Palmeros, Manager of the Social and Mental Health Services Division at the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD).The project grew out of a need to provide more meaningful assistance to homeless people who visit the libraries to take advantage of the safe space, use the rest rooms and the free internet service.A little over a year ago, Pasadena joined what a handful of other public libraries in California have started – place a dedicated case worker in the libraries to help the homeless and connect them to housing, rather than simply hanging out day after day, and year after year.”