For Immediate ReleaseApril 23, 2019
Ongoing local efforts receive more than $9.3 million in federal and state support
San Rafael, CA – Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has declared a goal of ending chronic and veteran homelessness by the end of 2022. These efforts are buoyed by the success of a new program and an influx of funding that will further boost efforts in 2019. Data shows that people who are chronically homeless have a life expectancy 25 years less than their housed peers.
As of today, Marin HHS and its community partners report that 126 individuals have been housed since the launch of Coordinated Entry and Whole Person Care services in October 2017. The work will be further supported by an infusion of $9,328,058 in federal and state funds over the next year to supplement the investments already made by the Marin County Board of Supervisors.
On April 23, the Board voted to accept $4,831,536 from the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency for homelessness programs. It came in the form of a Homeless Emergency Assistance Program (HEAP) grant that will be designated to two County partners: Homeward Bound of Marin and the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Marin.
Playing off the program’s name, Board President Kate Sears said, “This is a heap of money, and it’s always great to get a heap of money, but it doesn’t just happen for no reason. It really is a testament to all the great work and great planning efforts. … This is exciting and we’re looking forward to really seeing tangible proof of moving the dial and really helping people who need to be helped.”
Earlier, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded Marin HHS and its partners $4,496,522 in competitive funding through its Continuum of Care Program, including $4,184,420 in renewal funding to support seven permanent supportive housing projects through Homeward Bound of Marin, Buckelew Programs, the Marin Housing Authority, and Ritter Center. The remaining funds support Coordinated Entry, the system through which all persons experiencing chronic homelessness access permanent housing, and planning and evaluation efforts.
Additionally, HUD provided another $186,236 for a domestic violence housing project at the Center for Domestic Peace and funding for a housing locator position at Marin Housing Authority. The new domestic violence project will combine short-term transitional housing with rental assistance to move clients into permanent housing more quickly. The housing locator builds relationships with landlords to increase the stock of units available to people holding homeless vouchers. The housing locator position was piloted through funding from Marin HHS, and this new funding will allow the program to continue.
“We’re thrilled to welcome these new investments in solutions to homelessness from the state,” said Ashley Hart McIntyre, HHS Homelessness Policy Analyst. “Marin County has provided millions of dollars in homelessness housing and services to supplement federal funding. Investment in Whole Person Care and these new funding streams will greatly accelerate our progress.”
HEAP, signed into law in 2018, is a $500 million block grant program designed to provide direct assistance to cities and counties to address homelessness throughout the state. For Homeward Bound of Marin, the $4,523,891.30 received will assist the redesign of its Mill Street Center, allowing the nonprofit agency to add 32 permanent supportive housing beds to the existing shelter. St. Vincent received $307,965 for a diversion pilot program that will provide newly homeless people with immediate assistance to end their housing crisis before they require emergency shelter or more intensive interventions.
The second piece of funding, the California Emergency Solutions and Housing Program (CESH), will provide $508,836 to local community organizations for homeless services. Of that sum, $305,302 was awarded to Ritter Center for expanded services to people in its Housing First Supportive Housing Program. The program provides permanent supportive housing for individuals who are chronically homeless. The remaining $203,534 will be distributed later this year.
Finally, Homeward Bound was selected to be Marin HHS’ development sponsor to apply for state No Place Like Home (NPLH) funding. NPLH repurposes Mental Health Services Act dollars to fund development of permanent supportive housing for people with serious mental illness who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Marin is eligible to apply for up to $1,551,535 in noncompetitive funds, as well as to apply for additional funds competitively.
Ashley Hart McIntyreHomelessness Policy AnalystDepartment of Health and Human Services
1776 E. Francisco Blvd.San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-3501Email: Ashley Hart McIntyreMarin HHS website