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Chair Nathan Fletcher, and the other members of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors passed two actions that will expand the County’s commitment to addressing the homelessness crisis. In a follow-up to Chair Fletcher’s announcement in February about making $10 million in one-time grants available for cities, today the Board approved it. In a separate vote, they also approved using Homeless, Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP)  funds to house homeless youth, and open harm reduction shelters.  

“We are doing more than ever as a County to address homelessness for youth and adults, and create better ways to provide mental health and addiction treatment to people in need,” said Chair Fletcher. “Our vote today is a continuation of our commitment to work with other regional leaders to make progress on the most pressing issues our community is facing. We’re in the fight, and we’re not backing down.”  

$10 Million for Cities To Create New Shelters      

The $10 million in one-time funding grants can be used to transform properties in cities into new shelters, safe parking, safe camping, and tiny homes. This week, the County will send a notification to all 18 city jurisdictions, commencing the funding opportunity. The parameters for the funding will be as follows:

  • Multiple projects may be submitted by each city municipality, but each will be evaluated independently. 

  • Applications will be accepted during a 30 day period. 

  • Notification of awards is anticipated to occur approximately 30 days after the application period closes. 

  • Additional application periods will be opened until all funds are expended. 

  • Proposed projects with the earliest operational date will be prioritized first.

Projects will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Readiness

    • Projects with the earliest operational date will be prioritized first.

    • Additionally, construction/shovel readiness (including site control) and financial readiness is important to ensure timeliness of project.  

  • City Council and Community Approval

    • Strong local support for the project would be needed to ensure limited barriers to implementation.  

  • Need

    • May be demonstrated through a combination of factors, including but not limited to, the number of individuals to be served, type of service, Point-in-Time Count number relative to the population within the city, geographic location, healthy places index and others. 

    • Lack or gap of existing internal/external funding or inadequate existing funding for the creation of emergency housing solutions within their respective city.  

  • Sustainability of Operations

    • Must show that a project can be sustained long term after funds are spent. City must demonstrate the operations of the emergency shelter solutions can be sustained for at least two (2) years, and it is encouraged that any subsequent use of the facility will be aligned with a homelessness solution. 

Use of HHAP Funds

  • Housing Our Youth (HOY):  HOY is a youth-centered, fully integrated care coordination program that was designed to provide youth experiencing homelessness with immediate housing and wraparound support grounded in positive youth development principles, with the goal of permanent housing placement. The program has demonstrated tremendous success by serving 267 youth and young adults, and permanently housing 108 youth and young adults as of March 2022, exceeding its two-year goal in just over a year. The funds will be used to continue the program. 

  • Community Harm Reduction Teams (C-HRT): The C-HRT team was launched on December 15, 2021 and includes harm reduction focused outreach and engagement in the Midway and East Village areas of San Diego. The purpose is to connect individuals within San Diego, who are suffering from substance use conditions and co-occurring mental health issues and who are experiencing homelessness, to interim shelter options, case management, system navigation, permanent housing, and behavioral health services. The funds will be used to continue the program. 

Community Harm Reduction Safe Haven C-HRT Safe Haven): Safe Havens provide transitional housing designed around key harm reduction principles, including lowest barrier accessibility, variable lengths of stay, and navigation to permanent housing. This is a collaborative effort with the City of San Diego in ongoing efforts to address homelessness and deepen partnerships regarding vital behavioral health support. The funds will be used to continue the program.