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

Fremont Opening Its First Homeless Navigation Center Monday

Opening comes after months of debate over the center last year

FREMONT, CA - AUGUST 31: Fremont Mayor Lily Mei, center, participates in a media preview event of the Fremont Housing Navigation Center on Aug. 31, 2020 in Fremont, Calif. The navigation center — a complex of five portable buildings — is located on a parking lot directly behind City Hall, surrounded by fencing, some of which is covered with colorful artwork. It’s modeled after one that’s been operating in Berkeley since 2018. Officials initially planned to house up to 45 homeless people for six months at a time while case managers would help find them permanent housing and connect them to crucially needed support services. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, however, only 25 residents will be allowed at first, to reduce the risk of them getting infected. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)

By: Joseph Geha
August 31, 2020 —

FREMONT — Following the lead of the Bay Area’s progressive northern cities, Fremont on Monday will become the first city in the southern part of the region to offer a one-stop “navigation center” for the homeless.

With hundreds of homeless people living in tents along streets and highway overpasses and sleeping in cars and RVs in parking lots and industrial frontage roads, city officials are counting on the center to get some of them back on their feet and on the track to permanent housing.

FREMONT, CA – AUGUST 31: An interior view of the Fremont Housing Navigation Center is photographed during a media preview event on Aug. 31, 2020 in Fremont, Calif. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)

If the center proves a success, they hope, other nearby cities might follow suit.

“Execution is key,” Andy Gutierrez, a Santa Clara County public defender on that office’s homeless outreach team, said Friday in an interview.

“It is close to the South Bay, Fremont is a suburban community, and if it’s done correctly and the community sees that it by and large works, and it doesn’t draw in problems in the way that some of the navigation centers in San Francisco have, then I think the community concerns will be allayed,” he said.

“But that all hinges on having the correct staff who are properly trained” and bring a “trauma-informed” perspective to ensure the homeless people who navigate through the program are well-supported.

FREMONT, CA – AUGUST 31: An interior view of the Fremont Housing Navigation Center is photographed during a media preview event on Aug. 31, 2020 in Fremont, Calif. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)

The navigation center — a complex of five portable buildings — is located on a parking lot directly behind City Hall, surrounded by fencing, some of which is covered with colorful artwork. It’s modeled after one that’s been operating in Berkeley since 2018.

Building the center and running it for three years will cost the city $7.7 million, according to officials. It’ll be operated by nonprofit Bay Area Community Services, which also runs the Berkeley navigation center and one that opened in Hayward last year, as well as homeless housing programs in Oakland.

Fremont Uses Boulders to Block Homeless RV Parking Near Tech Companies

People living in vehicles along Kato Road in Fremont were told to leave. Boulders were then placed along the side of the road to discourage people from moving back.
(KPIX 5 News Kiet Do reports 2-6-20)

Though the nonprofit touted a roughly 80% success rate in moving people from its Berkeley center into permanent housing the first year it opened, some Fremont residents pushed back against the idea, saying the money could be better spent on rental subsidies for the working poor or other homeless support.


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Officials initially planned to house up to 45 homeless people for six months at a time while case managers would help find them permanent housing and connect them to crucially needed support services.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, however, only 25 residents will be allowed at first, to reduce the risk of their getting infected.

“The (navigation center) will help transition vulnerable, homeless community members by providing a clean, safe, calm, and flexible environment to rebuild their lives and intensely focus on finding stable permanent housing,” the city said in a statement.

Fremont has the third-largest homeless population in Alameda County, behind Oakland and Berkeley. The number of homeless people in the city rose nearly 27% from 479 in 2017 to 608 last year, according to the latest homeless point-in-time count, city staff said.

Alameda County as a whole saw a 43% increase in that time frame, and homeless experts typically consider the numbers to be an undercount.

City Councilman Raj Salwan said he is “excited” about the center’s grand opening on Monday and hopes the center will be something the city can be proud of.

“This will be a pilot (navigation center) for Fremont and an opportunity to look at our data points to ensure that it works the way we intend to,” Salwan said.

“I’m proud of our city council for their action in embracing this (center) and saying yes in my backyard, which is city hall,” he said.

Last fall, the council spent months winnowing down a list of possible locations including the Niles district, North Fremont and Decoto Road, a process that saw hundreds of people storm its meetings to protest against having a center in their neighborhoods  At a meeting where the current site was discussed, tensions reached such a fever pitch that some people banged on City Hall windows and shouted over other speakers.

Homeless In Fremont Living In Tree Houses

Homeless people in Fremont have taken to living in tree houses.
(KPIX 5 News Kiet Do reports 5/30/2019)

In September, the council finally settled on placing the center behind City Hall, in the heart of the city’s budding downtown.

Most council members said they favored the downtown location for its access to BART, the Fremont Family Resource center, grocery stores and potential employers.

“We are hoping that we will have good outcomes, and the measurement will be the ultimate placement of our homeless community members into permanent, safe and stable housing,” Suzanne Shenfil, Fremont’s human services director, said in an email Friday.

She said the nonprofit will also help residents at the center find employment, “which will be especially challenging in the COVID environment.”

Shenfil said housing people is a regional issue, and while Fremont has shown the political will to tackle it, more help will be needed from the whole region.

“We are especially concerned that homelessness is growing, and so we have to continue to look for solutions and partners,” Shenfil said. “This is not our ultimate answer, but it’s a big one in our growing tool chest.”

This article courtesy of The Mercury News


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