From those sleeping in business entryways, to those that are hopeful they will be selected in the Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter nightly lottery drawing, to those who are working low-wage jobs and are one missed paycheck away from eviction, or students who can't piece together the funds for rent, homelessness has many faces in our community.
The Board received an update on April 25th from Tracey Dickinson, the Homeless Program Coordinator with Yolo County Health and Human Services, on county efforts to alleviate homelessness in Yolo County. According to the Yolo County Homeless Count 2017 Report (hyperlink to report), there are roughly 459 homeless individuals* in Yolo County. This number is a slight decrease (3.2%) as compared to the homeless point-in-time count in 2015. Of those experiencing homelessness in Yolo County, the report finds that 70% are single/families without children, and 30% are homeless with children. Furthermore, the number of sheltered individuals went down in Yolo County to 50%, whereas in 2015 there were approximately 65% sheltered. Read the Yolo County Homeless Count 2017 Report here.
The Board of Supervisors identified addressing homelessness as a goal in its 2016-19 Strategic Plan. County staff are working to grow funding for homeless services, develop a comprehensive data collection system for the homeless and establish a continuum of housing and services. Currently, the County has 22 programs in place and has dedicated over $6.3 million to address the causes and effects of homelessness in Yolo County.
Some of these programs include:
$2.2 million for the CalWorks One-Time Homeless Assistance, which provides homeless assistance to CalWorks families experiencing homelessness including 16 day hotel voucher, first and last month’s rent and security deposit for housing.
$799,776 for Extended Hope- which is a contract with Fourth and Hope to provide intensive wraparound care to people experiencing homelessness with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.
$488,296 for MHSA Housing and Supportive Services- this program contracts with Turning Point Community Programs to provide housing and support to mental health clients.
$360,000 for Transitional Housing Practitioners- this program provides housing, food and sober living oversight to probationers who would otherwise be homeless.
Ending homelessness is a complex challenge involving many different needs and services and I’m committed to doing my part to continue to explore and support innovative solutions to address homelessness in our community.
In shared service,
*Note that this number doesn't include individuals who couch-surf or live doubled-up in households. According to the HUD definition of homelessness, individuals are considered homeless if they are in a shelter or in a transitional housing unit or living in a place not meant for human habitation.