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What is El Dorado County doing to help the homeless? Coalition Meeting Summary 9/2018

Notes from 2 NAMI Volunteers that attended the September “Homeless Coalition Meeting and Board Meeting Sep 2018”. Thank you Val and Lynn for summarizing for our community.
These notes are a combination of key points from both the Board and General Membership meeting.
1) We observe there is an opportunity to provide enhanced “Mental Health 101” education for this group as we heard some making comments indicating they do not understand mental illness.   One said something to the effect that chronically homeless “don’t want to get off the streets even when a place to stay is offered to them.”   Several seemed surprised that their (homeless) clients don’t think in terms of their own best interests.    NAMI will be presenting 30 min including Q&A at a Dec 7th meeting.   Thank you Daniel for this invitation!
2) Volunteeers of America, representing the Veteran’s Administration and the Dept. of Labor help vets secure housing and jobs.  Becca is the contact. 
3. Homebase, a nonprofit organization, is now the County’s Homeless Coordinator for 1 year, funded by a coalition consisting of the County, City of Placerville, Marshall, etc. Homebase is dedicated to helping government entities address homelessness. They are very experienced at coordinating efforts across multiple agencies, departments, nonprofits, etc. Their contract is extendable by one year, if additional funding is made available.
4. Roundtable: Attendees introduced themselves and what they are doing to help solve the homeless problem in our community:
  • There were about 20 people at the Board meeting and 17 people at the General meeting (these totals include 2 NAMI El Dorado County volunteers); Tahoe participants attended by video conference
  • At least 2 from HHSA
  • Schools: County Office of Ed, Placerville Union School District
  • Barton and Marshall
  • Wendy Thomas, Placerville City Mayor
  • Pam Maxwell, U.S. Bank’s Community Development Officer sits on this Board as well as several other in the region. The Bank is committed to addressing homelessness.
  • Tahoe Youth and Family Services
  • Tahoe Homeless Coalition
  • Only Kindness
  • Center for Violence Prevention
  • Kim, Placerville Police Dept.
  • Amy Sellers, (provides free training classes on personal finance, how to find a job, and how to start a business)
  • Ed Kelly, President, HART of Folsom (Homeless Assistance Resource Team)
  • At least 2 community members/homeless advocates
  • Several from local churches

5. Thanks to Daniel Del Monte, our homeless coalition is eligible for $1.448 million in one time grants. Daniel, who is the Deputy Director of Community Resources (reporting directly to Patricia, Director of H&HSA), proposed 4 priorities for this money and the Board voted on and approved them:

        1.  Chronically homeless are our 1st priority;
        2.  Commit resources to buy or rehab home(s) to house the chronically homeless
        4.  5% of dollars must be for transitional age youth (i.e., 18 – 24 years)
        5.  Commitment to a Shelter (not just a winter shelter)

6. Daniel made several proposals as to how to spend the $1.448M which will be discussed over the next two months. (Applications must be submitted some time in December to the State.) Daniel’s proposals included:

  • County Probation Dept. has offered to administer a housing program for probationers with mental illness if some of the money is used to purchase a house. Daniel is investigating the cost of rehabbing the 2 houses the County already owns on Perks Court. (These were purchased to widen Hwy 50/Missouri Flat Interchange.)
  • County Child Welfare Dept. has offered to administer a housing program for youth who are aging out of foster care.
  • Some of the money could be contributed to fund the shelters already run by the churches on W. Slope. Don Vandercar (sp?) said the churches are struggling to retain churches and volunteers for the nomadic shelter on the west slope. There is a training for shelter volunteers on 10/5 and a shelter fundraiser on 10/27 at St. Patrick’s
  • $100K for doing a 5 year strategic plan
  • $150K for 2 annual homeless point in time counts – Daniel thought these counts plus a strategic plan would enable us to get more money from HUD
  • Not more than 5% of the grant $ can be used for administration. HHSA has volunteered to do the grant administration. (5% is low; typically grants allow up to 10% for admin.)
  • A key challenge is how to take this one time money and create self funding streams for any new programs launched with these grants.
  • There was much discussion and concern on how to spend the money. Jenn from Only Kindness wondered how we could justify spending so much on counts and a plan instead of on direct services for the homeless.

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