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Reader Opinion: Human services in Livermore

Stock photo.

At this past week’s Livermore City Council meeting, the Human Services Commission gave its annual report. The Human Services Commission advises the City Council on how people of low and moderate income are faring. What needs are there? How are they being met? And what are the gaps?

Filling those gaps does not only help people on the edge, but all of us. When people are healthy and secure, they can better contribute to our community. That makes a better city for everyone.

One key role of the Human Services Commission is allocating money to fill those gaps. The priorities include addressing Public Health, Housing, Homelessness, and Access to Safety Net options. Each priority area is big.

Public health includes basic medical and dental care, support for those in dangerous situations, mental health care, and substance use programs.

The goal of Housing is to keep people in homes. Doing that includes everything from rental assistance to housing services.

When people are homeless, ensuring compassionate, supportive care helps both individuals and the community.

And funding the Safety Net means that, as the name says, people are assisted in being secure in their basic needs.

The primary job of the Human Services Commission is to make grant recommendations to the City Council on how to spend monies from different governmental sources—federal, state, county, and city.

The Commission’s report was sobering: less money to care for the most vulnerable. This year, the Human Services Commission had a total of $1,266,814 to allocate to the four categories above. It reviewed applications and made recommendations for most of that money—a valiant effort.

But what could be done if that million were doubled, tripled, or more? How would we all thrive if we invested more in the most vulnerable?

Editor's note: Send your opinions on Livermore topics to All submissions will undergo editorial review and must include author's full name.

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