California Investing Tens of Millions for Homeless Housing, Services Throughout North Coast
This is a press release from the Senator Mike McGuire:
Sacramento, CA – The Golden State has a homelessness crisis. The growing emergency of homelessness has reached a critical stage – California comprises 25 percent of the nation’s homeless population; 12 percent of the nation’s population of homeless families with children; and 58 percent of the nation’s unsheltered homeless youth reside in California.
Senator Mike McGuire has been one of the leading voices on homelessness in the Legislature, ensuring billions in resources are secured to advance services, programs and permanent housing in small communities, rural counties and our State’s largest metropolitan centers.
He was one of the lead authors of the bi-partisan No Place Like Home initiative in 2016 to fund the construction of permanent supportive housing focused on the hardest to house – residents who are chronically homeless and those at risk of chronic homelessness. Many of these residents have a dual diagnosis, challenged with drug and alcohol addictions and mental health issues. It’s estimated each chronic homeless resident costs taxpayers approximately $100,000 each year, mostly due to unreimbursed stays in emergency rooms and time in county jails.
With a recent court ruling in favor of state funds being released through No Place Like Home and a ballot measure on November 6 reaffirming the Legislature’s 2016 action, the state is gearing up the multi-pronged approach to addressing the homeless crisis.
Funding for No Place Like Home grants is moving forward and counties across the North Coast have already started receiving technical assistance grants to prepare for and plan local projects to house homeless residents. Applications were also released last week for counties to apply for the first round of millions of dollars in funding through the No Place Like Home program to construct new permanent homeless housing wrapped with mental health and addiction services.
“While these resources are significant, we know it’s going to take time and additional funding partnerships to help people and communities invest in long-term solutions to homelessness. Whether it’s downtown LA on Skid Row, San Rafael, Ukiah or Eureka, cities and counties lack the funding to implement the programs thousands of Californians desperately need,” Senator McGuire said. “The state is investing millions up and down the North Coast, which will help give our communities the ability to create and fund local shelters, housing and programs that meet their unique needs.”
Senator McGuire also helped lead efforts this year to include over $600 million to combat homelessness in the state budget, the bulk of which will be allocated through the new Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) program – a flexible, immediate one-time funding source for cities, counties and Continuums of Care to address the homelessness crisis throughout California. There is also $17.5 million in the budget dedicated to serving homeless youth throughout the state.
“This innovative new program is a Housing-First grant program that will allow counties and cities to craft and implement real, localized solutions to the homeless crisis in their communities,” Senator McGuire said. “Cities and counties can use these funds to develop programs like street outreach, housing vouchers, emergency shelter, tiny homes and more, all to provide immediate emergency assistance to people experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of experiencing homelessness.”
Through the No Place Like Home (NPLH) program and the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP), counties on the North Coast are eligible to receive tens of millions in funding over the next year to implement solutions to the homeless crisis (immediate needs and long term) in their communities: