San Bernardino County is the largest county in the U.S. and is characterized by a mix of dense urbanized areas, vast open desert, and small alpine communities in the mountains. As an Urban County with many individual municipalities cooperating in the County’s CDBG program, the public engagement around the Consolidated Plan and Analysis of Impediments was designed to reach residents in each of these communities.
In order to achieve meaningful public engagement with residents and other stakeholders over this vast geography, we implemented a variety of approaches including facilitation of stakeholder interviews, a communitywide survey, and holding 20 different public meetings across the county. Mosaic’s team logged over 2,000 miles over the course of two weeks to ensure that even the most remote reaches of San Bernardino County were included in the plan development process.
Representing in a single plan document the unique ideas and contributions of so many diverse communities was a challenge, but the effort to seek out those diverse points of view and to ensure no communities were left out simply because they were hard to get to ultimately resulted in plans that were truly responsive to local needs. The final analysis identified needs related to housing, homelessness, and community development throughout the county, and outlined priorities, goals, and strategies to address them over the next five years.