The quarterly Housing report from the Department of Behavioral Health represents information that is a major concern to our community. The Department has contracted with the Independent Living Association to improve the quality of Room and Board homes. Training will be provided to those home operators and providers who join the Association which will develop standards and then refer clients only to homes that meet those standards.
A one-time allocation of $729,000 for housing and outreach treatment programs for individuals with serious mental illnesses who are homeless or at risk of homelessness was approved.
No Place Like Home was approved by voters and will use Mental Health Services Act funds to provide housing for individuals with serious mental illnesses. Counties will receive funds determined by population and may compete for additional funds through grant applications. Requests for Proposals will be released for consultant services and housing development, The Housing Authority will partner in the development and creation of Permanent Supportive Housing, but the Department will seek out other interested and qualified developers to partner in future housing units.
The Department is joining other agencies in housing projects such as Street2Home with the City of Fresno and Project Ignite with the Housing Authority. The Department continues to work for improvements at its current supportive housing sites based on the recommends from the evaluation by the Corporation for Supportive Housing. The Board is especially concerned about the Renaissance Project at Santa Clara and will continue to monitor that site, located near Poverello House.
In its 2019 Recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, our Board includes “Move forward with a permanent supportive housing project available to all clients of Department of Behavioral Health. The Department continues with efforts to provide adequate housing for individuals living with behavioral health disorders but progress is excruciatingly slow.
Carolyn Evans, evansalca [at] comcast.net