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     …..     …..
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…..     …..
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     …..     …..
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     …..     …..

Proposal Would Create Tent Cities for Homeless Veterans in VA Parking Lots

By Richard Sisk
May 13, 2020 —

Tent cities for homeless veterans would go up in Department of Veterans Affairs hospital parking lots under a proposal included in a massive COVID-19 aid bill offered up this week by House Democrats.

The proposal by Rep. Mike Levin, D-California, would authorize the VA “to set up temporary encampments on the grounds of [VA Medical Centers] to allow homeless veterans to stay temporarily in VA parking lots,” according to a release Tuesday from the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

Although the tent city plan may seem far-fetched, it has precedent. Last month, the VA’s Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System set up temporary pup tents for homeless veterans at the West Los Angeles VAMC at the urging of veterans advocates and local city and county officials.

The proposal by Levin, head of the House Veterans Affairs Committee subcommittee on economic opportunity, was included in legislation offered up by Rep. Mark Takano, the committee chairman, to aid veterans during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Takano’s proposals were part of a massive $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill shaped by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, that is expected to be voted on as early as Friday.

Pelosi, who has a track record of never sending a bill to the floor for which she doesn’t have the votes, said Tuesday, “We must think big for the people now, because if we don’t it will cost more in lives and livelihood later.”

She told reporters in the Capitol, “We’re presenting a plan to do what is necessary to deal with a chronic crisis and make sure we can get the country back to work and school safely.”

The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions, or HEROES, Act, includes nearly $1 trillion in assistance to state and local governments, hazardous pay for VA and other health care workers, forgiveness of student debt and funding to shore up Medicaid and Medicare.

The more than 1,800-page bill also included a second round of $1,200 direct cash aid to individuals, increased to up to $6,000 per household, and would create a $175 billion housing assistance fund to help pay rents and mortgages.

However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said there is no urgency in the Senate to move on the House bill. At a livestream event Tuesday, he said it is time to “hit pause” on new coronavirus relief proposals.

Takano’s package of proposals would approve VA health care for all veterans who lost their health insurance due to the pandemic and give prior VA authorization for any emergency care sought by veterans at non-VA hospitals.

In addition, veterans would not have any copays or cost-sharing for preventative treatment or services related to COVID-19.

“The HEROES Act is critical,” Takano said in a statement. “By supporting homeless veterans, suspending debt collection, expanding health coverage, and caring for our most vulnerable, we can help ensure that those who have served our country have an opportunity to succeed.”

The pup tents at the West Los Angeles VA were the latest attempt by the facility to ease the plight of homeless veterans in California.

Last May, the nonprofit Safe Parking L.A. partnered with the VA to offer homeless veterans living out of their vehicles parking stalls on the West Los Angeles VA’s campus for overnight stays and a place to wash up.

In an address last May to the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie recalled a visit to the West Los Angeles VA and “the saddest sight I have seen.”

“I watched at dusk cars come into that wonderful, wonderful facility, and veterans did not get out of the cars,” he said. “I was told that they all had jobs. They were contributing to the tax base and the prosperity of America’s second largest city, but because of government policy there was no place for them to afford a decent living.”

At a virtual House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on homeless veterans last month, Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tennessee, the ranking member of the committee, framed the problem for homeless veterans during the stay-at-home restrictions of the pandemic with a question: “How do you stay at home if you don’t have a home?”

In her testimony at the April 28 hearing, Kathryn Monet, executive director of the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans, praised the outreach by the VA and the work to get homeless veterans into rentals through vouchers from the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program, but said the problem has only worsened during the pandemic.

She called on Congress to provide more assistance to advocacy groups and community providers to get more homeless veterans off the streets and into shelters.

The pandemic “has truly created financial strain for these organizations on the front lines of this fight,” Monet said.

“Given the infection rates at congregate housing across the country, any further delay is putting homeless service providers in the impossible position of making life-or-death decisions based on insufficient resources,” she added.

At the hearing, Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pennsylvania, pointed to the work of the nonprofit Veterans Leadership Program in the Pittsburgh area in getting homeless veterans into shelters and rentals.

In a phone interview, Christine Pietryga, VLP’s chief operating officer, said the organization is working with $1 million in assistance from the VA to get homeless veterans, and those who have been “couch surfing” after losing jobs, into shelters and vacant hotel rooms.

One problem is that some of the veterans worry about the possibility of contracting COVID-19 from the lack of social distancing at shelters, she said.

“The VA has done a really good job” at addressing the homeless veterans issue through HUD-VASH and other programs, said Joy Ilem, deputy national legislative director at Disabled American Veterans. But “we’re likely to see more veterans become homeless in the months ahead” as unemployment spikes in the epidemic, she added.

In a phone interview Tuesday, Ilem, a former Army medic, said the DAV is also concerned with veterans’ mental health issues in the coronavirus era.

Last week, the VA announced an expansion of services through the $17.2 billion in funding to the Veterans Health Administration under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

About $300 million from the $17.2 billion will go “to address the challenges faced by homeless and at-risk veterans,” the VA said in a release.

The total includes $202 million for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program aimed at low-income veteran families “to mitigate the expected wave of evictions and potential homelessness that will result from extensive unemployment,” the VA said.

Since 2010, the effort, begun under then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to end veteran homelessness, has resulted in about a 50% reduction in the number of homeless veterans, currently estimated at about 40,000, according to the VA and HUD.

As a result, 77 communities and three states nationwide have declared an effective end to veteran homelessness, HunterKurtz, assistant secretary for public and Indian housing at HUD, said at an Aug. 22 field hearing in San Diego of the House Veterans Affairs Committee’s subcommittee on economic opportunity.

This article courtesy of Military.com


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