Stanton, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     The County of Orange and Jamboree Housing Corporation submitted three applications as co-applicants and in partnership with the City of Stanton under the State Homekey program, all located in the City of Stanton, for a total request of $28.1 million in funding…..   The County recently received word that the State reserved funding for both The Tahiti Motel and Stanton Inn and Suites applications….. Two of the motels identified for funds in the City of Stanton include The Stanton Inn and Suites, on Katella Avenue and the Tahiti Motel, on Beach Boulevard. A third motel is in negotiation with the motel owner, they say. By the end of the project, 132 new affordable homes will be available for those experiencing homelessness.   Although this does not yet represent an award from the State, it is one step closer to securing funding to make the Homekey program work…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER…..     …..     …..  
Oxnard, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     The Vagabond Inn in Oxnard could soon transition from an affordable hotel option to permanent supportive housing for 70 of the county’s homeless residents, thanks to a state funding effort that aims to house California’s most vulnerable homeless individuals….. The Vagabond Inn is under consideration for funding under Project Homekey, the next phase in the state’s efforts to protect homeless residents who are high-risk for COVID-19. In July, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $600 million in funding for cities and counties to convert motels, hotels and other housing types into permanent housing…..  “This is an opportunity that allows us to both respond to COVID-19 and respond to homelessness and the long-term need to provide housing,” said Oxnard Housing Director Emilio Ramirez…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER     …..     …..
San Francisco, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     Bay Area universities and homeless advocates released a report on Thursday revealing the various barriers homeless San Franciscans face when accessing housing…..  The report’s authors, the Coalition on Homelessness and researchers with the University of California at Berkeley, San Francisco State University and Santa Clara University surveyed 600 temporarily housed San Franciscans, with a focus on transgender people …..  Participants revealed inequities that homeless transgender people face to obtain housing, poor shelter conditions, crowded living spaces and strict curfews, created even more barriers to housing. Fifty-eight percent of participants said they would prefer a legal homeless camp with basic amenities like showers and toilets while 34 percent reported having substance abuse issues…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER     …..     …..
Sacramento, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     Gov. Newsom said Wednesday that California is making an “unprecedented” effort to address homelessness, two days after lawmakers failed to pass a bill to massively increase housing production….. The governor said the state has placed more than 22,000 homeless Californians in 16,400 hotel and motel rooms amid the pandemic, and is giving cities and counties $600 million to purchase the rooms and convert them into permanent housing….. Local governments also got another $628 million in emergency homelessness aid….. “It’s self-evident that this has to be our top priority and it is,” said Newsom……   A bill heading to Newsom’s desk would create a state Office to End Homelessness, led by a new “homelessness czar.” But the governor said Wednesday he already has a homelessness czar — a seemingly fluid title, given that he’s used it to refer to six people in the past two years, including himself……      HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER…..     …..
Paso Robles, CA – Sept. 2, 2020      The temporary camping facility for homeless residents has been operational at the Borkey Flats site for a few weeks. The site has restrooms, showers, and a safe needle exchange program, and a safe parking area….. The City’s Community Action Team (CAT) has been visiting homeless encampments in the riverbed. They have visited 15-20 camps and informed individuals of the new camping site and of the city’s intent to clean up the riverbed to mitigate fire risk and protect water quality…… To date, three encampments have been cleaned up of all debris and waste products. The camping site has not seen high levels of utilization to date, but the city has seen a drop in fire activity since the CAT team has been active and cleanup has begun….. The city will need to move the Borkey Flats encampment in the winter given that it is in the flood plain, and continues to work with homeless service provider partners to identify long-term solutions…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER    …..     …..
Stanton, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     The County of Orange and Jamboree Housing Corporation submitted three applications as co-applicants and in partnership with the City of Stanton under the State Homekey program, all located in the City of Stanton, for a total request of $28.1 million in funding…..   The County recently received word that the State reserved funding for both The Tahiti Motel and Stanton Inn and Suites applications….. Two of the motels identified for funds in the City of Stanton include The Stanton Inn and Suites, on Katella Avenue and the Tahiti Motel, on Beach Boulevard. A third motel is in negotiation with the motel owner, they say. By the end of the project, 132 new affordable homes will be available for those experiencing homelessness.   Although this does not yet represent an award from the State, it is one step closer to securing funding to make the Homekey program work…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER…..     …..     …..  
Sacramento, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     Gov. Newsom said Wednesday that California is making an “unprecedented” effort to address homelessness, two days after lawmakers failed to pass a bill to massively increase housing production….. The governor said the state has placed more than 22,000 homeless Californians in 16,400 hotel and motel rooms amid the pandemic, and is giving cities and counties $600 million to purchase the rooms and convert them into permanent housing….. Local governments also got another $628 million in emergency homelessness aid….. “It’s self-evident that this has to be our top priority and it is,” said Newsom……   A bill heading to Newsom’s desk would create a state Office to End Homelessness, led by a new “homelessness czar.” But the governor said Wednesday he already has a homelessness czar — a seemingly fluid title, given that he’s used it to refer to six people in the past two years, including himself……      HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER…..     …..
Paso Robles, CA – Sept. 2, 2020      The temporary camping facility for homeless residents has been operational at the Borkey Flats site for a few weeks. The site has restrooms, showers, and a safe needle exchange program, and a safe parking area….. The City’s Community Action Team (CAT) has been visiting homeless encampments in the riverbed. They have visited 15-20 camps and informed individuals of the new camping site and of the city’s intent to clean up the riverbed to mitigate fire risk and protect water quality…… To date, three encampments have been cleaned up of all debris and waste products. The camping site has not seen high levels of utilization to date, but the city has seen a drop in fire activity since the CAT team has been active and cleanup has begun….. The city will need to move the Borkey Flats encampment in the winter given that it is in the flood plain, and continues to work with homeless service provider partners to identify long-term solutions…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER    …..     …..
Oxnard, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     The Vagabond Inn in Oxnard could soon transition from an affordable hotel option to permanent supportive housing for 70 of the county’s homeless residents, thanks to a state funding effort that aims to house California’s most vulnerable homeless individuals….. The Vagabond Inn is under consideration for funding under Project Homekey, the next phase in the state’s efforts to protect homeless residents who are high-risk for COVID-19. In July, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $600 million in funding for cities and counties to convert motels, hotels and other housing types into permanent housing…..  “This is an opportunity that allows us to both respond to COVID-19 and respond to homelessness and the long-term need to provide housing,” said Oxnard Housing Director Emilio Ramirez…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER     …..     …..
San Francisco, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     Bay Area universities and homeless advocates released a report on Thursday revealing the various barriers homeless San Franciscans face when accessing housing…..  The report’s authors, the Coalition on Homelessness and researchers with the University of California at Berkeley, San Francisco State University and Santa Clara University surveyed 600 temporarily housed San Franciscans, with a focus on transgender people …..  Participants revealed inequities that homeless transgender people face to obtain housing, poor shelter conditions, crowded living spaces and strict curfews, created even more barriers to housing. Fifty-eight percent of participants said they would prefer a legal homeless camp with basic amenities like showers and toilets while 34 percent reported having substance abuse issues…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER     …..     …..

More and More Californians Are Old, Sick and Living on the Streets

Here’s how we can fight senior homelessness.

By: Margot Kushel and Kevin Prindiville
July 28, 2019 —

According to the recently released 2018 point-in-time counts, every Bay Area county has seen a large increase in its homeless population. In many cases, the increases were dramatic. Alameda saw an increase of 43% over the past two years; Santa Clara saw an increase of 31%. The tally in San Francisco has been startling, too: 30%, using the same standards the city has used in past years, and 17% according to federal guidelines.

The worrisome increases obscured a reality that may be even grimmer. A rising number of homeless adults are age 50 and older.

In the early 1990s, 11% of homeless single adults in San Francisco were 50 and older. In 2003, 37% were.

Now, the numbers are much worse. Recent projections found that the number of homeless people 65 and older will triple by 2030.

The fundamental cause of homelessness is poverty and a lack of affordable housing. In California, this has taken a particular toll on older adults.

Over half of California households led by people 50-64 pay more than 30% of their household income in rent — the highest proportion in the U.S. Almost a third of renters aged 50-64 in California pay over half of their household income on rent.

Spending this much for housing means cutting back on other key expenses, such as food and health care. This leaves many with little ability to manage life’s many expensive setbacks.

Our studies have found that almost half of older homeless adults first became homeless after they turned 50. They had worked their whole lives in physically demanding, low-paying jobs. At some point later in life, they reported facing a challenge like job loss, their or their partner’s illness, or their partner’s or parent’s death. With little financial cushion, they found themselves homeless.

With rising housing costs, fewer pensions, and a fraying safety net, many older adults are one crisis away from losing the roof over their head.

This is particularly true for black Americans, who are at three to four times the risk of homelessness nationally. In San Francisco, the disparity is worse: while fewer than 6% of San Franciscans are black, 37% of those who experience homelessness are.

We can do better for the older adults suffering in our communities by using a two-pronged approach to tackle senior homelessness.

First, we need to create more affordable housing for seniors, including permanent supportive housing for those with chronic conditions, substance abuse, or mental health disorders. Second, we need to provide seniors on fixed incomes more resources to increase their economic security and stem the tide of displacement.

There are also a number of specific policies that have been proposed at the state level. All of them should be included as critical components of the Master Plan for Aging that Gov. Gavin Newsom called for in an executive order last month.

To increase the economic security of our state’s poorest seniors, we must restore the recession-era cuts to the state’s supplemental payments for the federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program that so many poor seniors rely on. Thanks to those cuts, California SSI recipients are living below the federal poverty level while the economy booms and many younger workers thrive.

Since health care is a large part of a senior’s monthly budget, we must also make health care more affordable by making it easier for struggling seniors to qualify for Medi-Cal. AB1088, introduced by state Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Santa Rosa, would increase the woefully low Medi-Cal asset limits that do not allow seniors the ability to save for a crisis.

Because many seniors are pushed into homelessness after a stint in a nursing facility, we need mechanisms to help them maintain their homes while they are recovering. AB1042, also authored by Assemblyman Wood, would increase the amount of income Medi-Cal recipients can retain toward keeping their residence while in a nursing facility.

Finally, SB611, by state Sen. Anna Caballero, D-Salinas, attempts to address the specific and unique housing needs of seniors through the Housing Older Persons Effectively (HOPE) Task Force. Coupled with the governor’s new homelessness task force, this would go a long way to address homelessness among older adults.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are many other actions that the state and local counties and cities can and must take to address this growing epidemic.

With targeted investments that create affordable housing for older adults and measures that will increase the economic security of low-income seniors, California can buck the nationwide trend of rising older adult homelessness.

Together, we can build a vibrant state where all of us can have safe, stable housing in our later years.

Margot Kushel is a professor of medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and director of the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations. Kevin Prindiville is the executive director of Justice in Aging, a national nonprofit organization that fights senior poverty through legal advocacy.

This article courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle


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