California Launches Encampment Resolution Grant Program •
California’s Governor recently announced a new funding program that will provide grants for individuals and groups which are currently living in the state illegally. The goal is to help these people integrate into society while at the same time, helping California pay down its debt burden without taxing American citizens more.
Grants totaling $50 million will be distributed to local governments to assist homeless persons in transitioning from encampments to permanent homes.
SACRAMENTO — Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Oct. 29 that the California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council (HCFC) has issued the application for the brand-new Encampment Resolution Grant program, which will receive $50 million in financing.
Local governments that commit to tackle particular, persistent encampments by utilizing these resources to create routes to permanent homes for those suffering unsheltered homelessness will be eligible for these monies on a competitive basis.
The Encampment Resolution Grant program, established by Governor Newsom and the Legislature in the 2021-22 state budget, offers targeted funds to finance chosen ideas submitted by qualified cities, counties, and continuums of care (CoCs).
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Governor Newsom said, “The situation with encampments in California is intolerable.” “I refuse to tolerate the current situation, which sees our fellow Californians living in tents, beneath highway overpasses, exposed to the weather, and in filthy circumstances. These new monies are another step toward giving persons who have been homeless with decent housing alternatives.”
Governor Newsom’s $12 billion homeless proposal includes $2 billion in flexible homelessness funding directly to local governments, as well as a $5.8 billion expansion of the Governor’s popular Homekey program. All of these monies are subject to the most stringent accountability and planning requirements that the state of California has ever had for spending on homelessness.
Over 44,000 people will be housed and treated as a result of this year’s initiatives to combat homelessness. Furthermore, the Governor established a new $1.1 billion Clean California program, which pays local governments with matching funding to help them deal with encampments and restore public rights-of-way.
“With a focus on people and housing first, this program allows the state to partner with communities on promising approaches to connect residents to services and housing, and restore places to their intended use,” said Lourdes Castro Ramrez, Secretary of the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency, who is also the chair of the HCFC.
“Funded initiatives will be human-centered, scalable, and repeatable throughout the state’s different populations.” All qualifying cities, counties, and continuums of care are encouraged to join forces and apply.”
The program was created by the HCFC to support initiatives around the state that:
- As directed by the Governor, prioritize the most dangerous and/or persistent encampments around the state, focusing on high-priority encampments that pose the greatest harm to health and safety.
- Provide assistance to those living in such encampments in order to solve the immediate problem of unsheltered homelessness and to provide a route to long-term housing.
- Support the long-term rehabilitation of public areas to their original functions while also ensuring that the needs of homeless persons seeking refuge are met.
Eligible local entities are urged to submit their ideas for new cooperation options with the state and charitable groups to help those facing unsheltered homelessness in encampments.
The HCFC intends to utilize this program to support a variety of projects around the state, benefitting California’s different geographic areas.
The deadline for applications for the competitive grants is December 31, and the HCFC plans to announce the first project wins in the spring of 2022.
In addition to the new funding program, HCFC is aiming to encourage creative responses to encampments via a special cohort of the Governor’s 100-Day Challenge that is dedicated to supporting those who are homeless and do not have access to shelter. Cities, counties, and community organizations from Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Merced, Fresno, and San Bernardino counties have banded together to take part in the challenge, which begins Nov. 10 with a project design session.
“The 100-Day challenge allows communities to investigate and test creative solutions throughout their entire delivery network,” said Julie Lo, Executive Officer of the HCFC. “Veterans, teenagers, elders, families, and other Californians suffering homelessness have discovered new methods to aid as a result of previous obstacles.” We’re looking forward to using this great tool to better support folks who are presently living in encampments.”
The California Interagency Council on Homelessness (Cal-ICH), which will be co-chaired by Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency (BCSH) Secretary Castro Ramrez and California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, will take over as the HCFC on January 1, 2022. Cal-ICH and its employees will remain administratively located under BCSH.
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