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Calaveras To Host Housing And Homelessness Town Hall

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San Andreas, CA – As jurisdictions grapple with homelessness issues and tap into newly available resources, a local county is hosting a public town hall about it.

According to Kristin Stranger, the director of the Calaveras County Health and Human Services Agency, the event, which is being held in collaboration with multiple community partners, is slated for Monday, Sept. 9 at San Andreas Elementary School.

Among the discussion topics are what the groups are doing to help assist county residents who lack stable housing and how the county can leverage the No Place Like Home (NPLH) Program, which Governor Jerry Brown signed in July of 2016. The program dedicates up to $2 billion in bond proceeds, repayable by funding from the Mental Health Services Act, towards investing in the development of permanent supportive housing for persons who are in need of mental health services and are experiencing homelessness, chronic homelessness, or who are at risk of chronic homelessness.

Last May, Calaveras County instituted a Homeless Task Force to take a coordinated, community-based approach to related issues. It involves representatives across a broad spectrum of stakeholders: local government; law enforcement; faith-based and community-based organizations; educators, employment and training providers; the healthcare community; and those who are homeless or formerly so.

Calaveras County along with 36 other counties successfully competed in the first of four rounds for NPLH funding. As reported here, the monies will be used to construct temporary housing units for residents who lack stable housing and are engaged in recovery plans. Stranger says that the town hall will provide those with questions about the project will mean for the county, and more specifically the communities where units are being located.

Lack Of Housing Across A Spectrum  

Stranger shares that what the task force has learned from collected data is that the number of homeless persons in Calaveras County is on the rise. “We have a lack of inventory of available housing inventory across the entire spectrum of need from emergency shelter to affordable and workforce housing, and we have limited housing support services,” she states.

“The issue has become one of the main focuses of the state with both the previous and current administrations obligating significant funding for local municipalities to address the issue while being mindful of the fact that California is extremely diverse and strategies that work in urban environments may not necessarily work here and vice versa,” she adds.

Overall priorities under the Calaveras County Homeless Plan include coordinating local data collection and planning efforts; increasing the housing inventory across the abovementioned spectrum; enhancing expanding housing support services; strengthening community collaborations, and pursuing emerging opportunities.

Along with the NPLH funding, Stranger points to many other state and federal opportunities coming down the pike. In the meantime, the task force is applying for the next round of NPLH to develop approximately 16 units in Valley Springs that will also serve veterans.

The Monday, Sept. 9 town Hall at San Andreas Elementary School will begin at 5:30 p.m.

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