County moves forward with multiple permanent housing projects for homeless

Published Oct. 8, 2019

The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved contracts with two local service providers today to purchase and operate permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness. 

The Gathering Inn and Advocates for Mentally Ill Housing Inc. were each awarded up to $2 million to purchase properties and operate them over the next three years. Both providers have extensive experience working with homeless clientele in the Placer community.

Additionally, AMI Housing was awarded up to $1.16 million to purchase and operate housing specifically in the North Lake Tahoe region. 

“We are continuing to move aggressively to purchase more housing and make a dent in our homeless population, especially given our community’s challenging real estate market,” said Jeff Brown, director of the Health and Human Services department, which will manage the contracts. “These two partners have innovative approaches and will together help us create around 30 new permanent beds for people to call home.”

The homes will likely be shared residences with up to six bedrooms apiece. Funding for the effort will come from a $1 million grant from Sutter Health, as well as dollars from the Whole Person Care pilot program and the Mental Health Services Act. Property purchased with these funds will be deed-restricted, meaning that it can only be used for the intended purpose of housing people experiencing homelessness - and mental illness, in the case of properties funded by MHSA.

Once homes are purchased, those homeless people with the most vulnerability will receive priority placement. Placements will be filled using the waitlist from the homeless resource helpline, a telephone hotline that helps assess homeless callers’ levels of need. 

Residents of the homes will pay 40% of their income towards rent, and will receive onsite support. Both AMI Housing and The Gathering Inn will have a case manager available during the regular work week, as well as a monitor to provide support in the home during nights and weekends.  

“This effort will not only help the most vulnerable among our homeless population get housed, but will also make sure they receive ongoing support so they can thrive,” Brown said.

The county has added 32 permanent housing beds since 2017.