A woman with more than three decades’ experience running homeless programs in Los Angeles County will oversee homeless services for Riverside County, officials announced Tuesday.
Natalie Komuro was selected by county CEO George Johnson to serve as the deputy county executive officer for homeless solutions, beginning in the last week of July.
Komuro has spent the last 11 years as executive director for Ascencia, a nonprofit that manages homeless outreach, emergency housing and related services in Burbank, Glendale, West Hollywood and other locations in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Prior to Ascencia, Komuro worked in various capacities, focusing on homeless assistance and advocacy, with a work history spanning 31 years, officials said.
“Homelessness exacts a terrible toll on families and on their communities — and growing regions risk marginalizing even more of their most vulnerable residents,” Komuro said. “I am grateful for this chance to help combat homelessness, and I look forward to working with our government, nonprofit and business-sector partners who have helped lead the countywide response to homelessness.”
According to the county Department of Public Social Services, the most recent point-in-time homeless survey revealed the number of dispossessed adults and children countywide is roughly 2,300.
That figure represents a 4 percent drop compared to 2017.
Despite the overall decline, 15 cities documented upward spikes in displaced persons during the winter months.
The city of Riverside has inaugurated an ambitious program to end homelessness, mainly through an expansion of transitional housing and permanent residential opportunities, even for those without any means of supporting themselves.
There was no word on Komuro’s compensation package. Her hiring comes even as the county continues a “targeted hiring freeze” intended to reduce deficit spending.
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