Supervisors to Seek More Funding for Homeless Services
Source: County of Santa Barbara
Following on several recent new initiatives and collaboration focused on diversion, mental health and homeless services and facilities, called “transformative” by Board of Supervisors Chair Gregg Hart, today the County Board of Supervisors authorized staff to submit applications for state funding from the Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) program.
Once awarded, the County will oversee an allocation of more than $2.1 million for the Santa Maria/Santa Barbara County Continuum of Care (CoC) and $1.9 million for the County’s program. A minimum of 235 households experiencing homelessness will be served, with 130 of those projected to receive permanent housing.
The state provided local Continuums of Care and eligible cities and counties with an allocation amount based on the official 2019 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Point-In-Time (PIT) count. The state application is due by February 15, with funding awards anticipated to be announced in April.
The dollars coming into the county for housing and services dedicated to homelessness is impactful. By offering separate allocations for local CoCs and the County, HHAP supports and encourages collaboration, joint planning and alignment toward specific needs countywide. The applications propose to use the new funding for rental assistance and rapid re-housing; incentives for landlords; outreach and coordination through a multi-disciplinary team consisting of staff from the Behavioral Wellness and Public Health departments, and the Public Defender’s Office; support for the creation of a Crisis Respite Navigation Center; and a set-aside of homeless youth funding for unaccompanied youth between the ages of 12 and 24.
“HHAP differs from other funding sources in that it requires proven approaches in addressing and preventing homelessness, and requires CoCs and local jurisdictions to engage in a thoughtful analysis to examine all resources currently deployed toward homelessness, and gaps in housing and service delivery,” said George Chapjian, Director of the County’s Community Services Department.
HHAP funding follows other new state funding to address homelessness including the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP). HEAP has been contracted to eight local organizations and served more than 500 persons across the county experiencing homelessness in the first nine months of operation. For more information about County Housing and Community Development, go to http://www.countyofsb.org/
To learn more about County programming on homelessness, housing, behavioral health and public health, click on the links below.