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

“Plan to End Homelessness” in Santa Clara County Unveiled

The entrance of the "Jurassic Park" homeless encampment in San Jose is pictured in this file photo. Photo by Loan-Anh Pham.

By: Paul Kilduff
August 13. 2020 —

San Jose, Ca – A consortium of agencies working to tackle one of Santa Clara County’s biggest concerns unveiled a long-term strategy Thursday with an epic goal: To end homelessness.

Called the 2020-2025 Plan to End Homelessness, its recommendations include securing 14,000 homes for the homeless, doubling shelter bed space and establishing a homeless prevention system that now serves more than 1,000 households a year. The recommendations build on what’s been done over the past five years.

The plan was put together by Santa Clara County’s Continuum of Care, which includes county and San Jose officials along with groups such as Destination: Home, People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) and business leaders.

Every night up to 10,000 people in Santa Clara County find themselves sleeping on the sidewalk or other unstable places, officials say, and that number continues to grow. For every homeless family or individual that makes it into housing in the county, two to three more experience it for the first time. If the trend continues, the group estimates 20,000 more could become homeless by 2025, the group predicts.

This photo was taken at San Jose’s most infamous homeless encampment named, “The Jungle.” It was cleared by authorities in 2014 ( Photo by Robert Johnson for Business Insider).

“This is a sober and ambitious plan — exactly what we need to tackle the growing crisis in homelessness we see across our community,” said Bruce Ives, CEO of the Bay Area homeless shelter group LifeMoves.

In addition to building more affordable homes, the plan calls for providing “targeted financial resources to prevent homelessness and eviction for severely rent-burdened residents living in existing affordable units.”

The report notes racial inequities are a factor in driving homelessness. According to Destination: Home, people of color are far more likely to become homeless in Santa Clara County. To address this issue, the plan increases “access to supportive housing programs for people of color by addressing racial bias in our system.”

The plan also calls for housing 20,000 people through the county’s supportive housing system by 2025, expanding the Homelessness Prevention System to serve 2,500 people and doubling the county’s temporary housing and shelter capacity.

This photo was taken at San Jose’s most infamous homeless encampment named, “The Jungle.” It was cleared by authorities in 2014 ( Photo by Robert Johnson for Business Insider).

Barriers to shelter that homeless advocates have long complained about also are addressed. These include allowing pets, personal storage, greater privacy, longer stays and more security. Shelters would also expand hours to remain open during the day and “invest in professional development and competitive pay to attract and retain a highly-qualified workforce of homeless service provider staff.”

Increasing the number of beds for substance abuse treatment, access to mental health services as well as a referral system for temporary housing and other services would also be established.

Bright spots noted by the group to fight against homelessness include the passage of San Jose’s Measure E earlier this year. The real estate transfer tax will generate millions annually for new affordable housing and homelessness prevention efforts.

Other developments include the building of three 100-bed emergency interim housing communities for families that will be made available during and after the pandemic and $15 million in aid to approximately 7,000 extremely low-income families in danger of becoming homeless.

Watch this video of “The Jungle” homeless encampment in San Jose circa 2014
(posted on YouTube by Maia Porter)

Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Cindy Chavez said the plan “reinforces our need to build permanent housing for the lowest income levels — housing that otherwise won’t happen. And it points out the need to stop economically displaced families from becoming the newly homeless.”

Morgan Hill’s Housing Manager Rebecca Garcia said the impact of the plan could be tremendous “if every city in the county seizes the opportunity to use this as a guiding light” to create healthy neighborhoods for everyone.

The plan does have its critics, however. Sandy Perry, president of the Affordable Housing Network of Santa Clara County, sat in on some of the plan’s hearings and focus groups. While he praises the ongoing efforts of homeless advocates, he’s critical of local politicians who don’t demand that high-tech companies pay their fair share of taxes. If they did, he says the county wouldn’t have a homeless problem because there would be more than enough money to build the amount of housing that’s needed, not just what’s in the pipeline that will only provide up to 20% at best.

“It’s ridiculous that in the richest place on Earth we have this kind of homeless problem,” said Perry.

According to a Public Policy Institute of California report cited in the plan, families at the highest income levels in the Bay Area have more than 12 times the income of families at the bottom, a group that’s seen its income drop by 12% in the past five years in Santa Clara County.

Not only are low-wage earners making less, there are far fewer homes for them to rent. In 2018 there were only 34 homes available for every 100 “extremely low wage” earners in the San Jose area.

But building more affordable housing will not come cheap. According to the plan, it could cost several billion dollars.

“But we cannot accept a future in which thousands of our neighbors are forced to live outside,” the report says.

This article courtesy of the San Jose Spotlight


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