Officials approved $72.7 million to tackle homelessness in San Bernardino County on Tuesday.
The funds were unanimously approved by county supervisors to leverage federal, state and county resources to support the 2022 Homeless Strategic Action Plan approved in June.
The Homeless Initiatives Spending Plan will allocate funds towards six initiatives that aim to address the “root causes of homelessness by increasing the supply of housing opportunities for at-risk populations,” officials said.
“As a board, we are leveraging all of the resources at our disposal and thinking outside the box by linking housing and other services to give people who are struggling a foundation of stability,” said Fourth District Supervisor Curt Hagman. “This approach enables people to break through the challenges they are facing and get back on their feet and off the streets.”
The six initiatives benefitting from the funds include:
-The Pacific Village Phase II expansion ($29.7 million) will provide residents with semi-private or private housing rather than communal dormitory beds. The expansion is expected to serve around 726 people annually with housing and supportive services. Officials say private housing will allow tailoring to fit those with custom needs including high levels of social and behavioral health supports.”
-The Kern Street Adult Residential Facility expansion ($2.5 million) will convert an existing adult residential facility to a 30-bed facility providing rooms, meals, supervision, medicine distribution, and personal care assistance to those with chronic behavioral health issues or who are unable to live by themselves.
-The Project Roomkey Continuance initiative ($4.4 million) will provide continued temporary housing of 80 to 90 beds along with food, laundry services and security for an additional year as participants transition from temporary to permanent housing. The program had initially provided temporary housing at hotels and motels for homeless residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
-The Social Work Action Group (SWAG) ($3.4 million) offers street outreach, engagement, housing navigation and case management services to homeless individuals. The new funding will extend the county’s contract with SWAG for another two years.
-The County Housing Development Grant initiative will “explore the development of a $20 million county grant program that can be offered to third parties (primarily partner cities) to support homeless housing projects, with a focus on the construction of new units, that provide additional housing beds (which may include emergency shelters),” officials said.
The conceptual program aims to create and operate low-cost housing units for homeless and displaced individuals. Specific program details and budgets will be presented for approval at a later date.
-The county was granted $12.7 million by The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) HOME-ARP Program to address the region’s housing needs and provision of homeless services. The agreement requires the county to provide an Allocation Plan by March 31 detailing which categories the county intends to use HOME-ARP funding.