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

Editorial: What The Pandemic Taught Us About Homelessness — And What We Shouldn’t Forget

By: Thomas Hugh Byrne, Benjamin F. Henwood and Anthony W. Orlando
August 2, 2020 —

The streets of our cities have been too empty and too full.

Emptied of cars and pedestrians, the streets of the pandemic became eerie still frames of an economy on pause. And yet, as we venture back to our sidewalks and storefronts, we are reminded that our streets also are a home, an imperfect and unsustainable haven for the transient masses we call “the homeless.” Never has it been starker than in the vacuum of social distancing that they are there, the only people who remained when all others retreated to the safety of their homes.

There is hope, however, in this bizarre moment, a silver lining in what the pandemic has forced us to do. Something we once feared was impossible is now beginning to erode the intractable status quo: Believe it or not, we are housing some of the homeless.

California is leading the way with Project Roomkey, a $1 billion effort to house 15,000 homeless families in unused hotel rooms where their risk of contracting and spreading the coronavirus is minimized. The state is leasing the rooms, but the terms of the agreement give it the option to purchase the properties. (In Finland, that has been one strategy that spurred a sharp decline in homelessness.) To date, California has procured more than 15,000 rooms and housed over 14,000 people — faster progress than we have ever seen in such a short time span.

All it took was a public health emergency.

As scholars of social work and real estate, we have opined for years that homelessness is a public health emergency and deserves to be treated as such. Instead, policymakers have bowed to the status quo, allowing local regulations, bureaucratic delays and NIMBY vetoes to stymie their efforts to acquire sites and build affordably.

Even when residents volunteered to pay billions of dollars more in taxes, local governments struggled to spend it. Facing so much neighborhood opposition and the long timeline to build affordable housing, their slow progress was unsurprising — but, ultimately, ill-matched to the urgency of the moment.

Now, finally, they are meeting this moment with the vigor it deserves.

To be clear: Project Roomkey is not moving fast enough to save most of the homeless population from public health risks that are present on the streets and in crowded shelters. In the short run, this is disappointing. But if we think long term, we can see how this rate of progress can achieve monumental gains.

Unfortunately, California is not thinking big, and most other states aren’t thinking in the same way about housing people experiencing homelessness at all. In its wildest dreams, Project Roomkey is intended to house less than 30 percent of the homeless population.

Why stop there? And why not replicate and build on its success in cities across the nation?

For the first time in history, these cities could have emergency support from the federal government for 75 percent of the costs. That is what federal policymakers have promised to California. This is the emergency response we have been waiting for.

With the economic fallout from the pandemic and looming wave of renters likely to lose their housing as eviction moratoriums expire, the stakes are high. By the time this pandemic is over, experts predict that we are likely to see a substantial increase in homelessness, making this effort more necessary than ever before. Our research shows that increased income inequality leads to spikes in homelessness, and previous pandemics have tended to increase inequality.

In other words, when one emergency ends, another will become even worse.

Sometimes, emergencies reveal what needed to be done all along. When the Great Depression drove millions of Americans out of their homes, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his allies in Congress got the housing market back on its feet and then instituted reforms — Fannie Mae, the Federal Home Loan Banks, and the Federal Housing Administration — to make homeownership permanently more affordable.

As a result, American homeownership soared to unprecedented heights and has remained there. Of course, we know that this growth was far from equitable. African Americans were denied the benefits provided to white Americans through New Deal programs, meaning that rates of homeownership among Black Americans have lagged far behind those among their white counterparts. This fact, along with the broader impacts of structural racism, has carried over into homelessness: Whereas African Americans account for 13 percent of the U.S. population, they represent more than 40 percent of all those who experience homelessness. 

Never has there been a more opportune time to make a permanent and equitable investment in housing for the homeless. Across the United States, hotels are in distress. Some have closed permanently; most won’t fully recover for a long time. Will they be sold to Wall Street investors to be flipped for profit, or will they be used to help local communities?

Borrowing rates are low, and property prices are depressed. This is an opportunity that should be seized as part of a broader strategy to finally develop an effective and permanent solution to this country’s problems of housing affordability and homelessness. We urge policymakers and voters alike to learn one lesson of this pandemic: We can reduce chronic homelessness. We have already begun, but if we are complacent, we can easily backslide.

Never again should we let so many Americans be subjected to a public health crisis without a home of their own to protect them. We do not know how long it will take to again fill our streets with commerce and community, but we will find there the human beings we abandoned to the pandemic if we do not seize this opportunity to help them while we can.

This article courtesy of The Hill


Is there a high rate of death among persons experiencing homelessness in your community?
Contact Us
and let us know!


More articles for you —

Thousands In Silicon Valley In Danger Of Eviction As End Of California Moratorium Nears

Hundreds Of Thousands Are Behind On Rent. Why Won’t Politicians Cancel It?

STATE LAUNCHES PROJECT HOMEKEY INITIATIVE, $600 MILLION DOLLARS IN FUNDING AVAILABLE TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

Please follow and like us:

Be the first to comment on "Editorial: What The Pandemic Taught Us About Homelessness — And What We Shouldn’t Forget"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*


error

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)