Written by The Business Journal Staff
Kaiser Permanente Fresno has announced an investment in the new initiative Street2Home – a countywide collaboration to combat homelessness.
Kaiser awarded a grant of $150,000 to WestCare California, Inc., which will provide funding for the initial operations of Street2Home. WestCare is also working in partnership with the city and county of Fresno, the Fresno Housing Authority, Fresno First Steps Home and Fresno Madera Continuum of Care.
“This is really the seed money we need to get the initiative off the ground and begin the work of transitioning the homeless in our county to transitional and permanent housing, while connecting them with the services they need to be successful,” Shawn Jenkins, senior vice president of WestCare California said of the grant.
This money will be used to help Street2Home in setting up a governance structure and support
This grant is part of a $200 million Thriving Communities Fund, which Kaiser Permanente announced last year to improve community health by addressing housing stability and homelessness, among other community needs.
“We are proud to invest in this local effort to combat homelessness because we know people can’t lead healthy lives if they don’t have stable housing,” said Wade Nogy, senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser Permanente Fresno. “Housing and health go hand-in-hand and we look forward to continuing our support of collaborative work being done to ensure people have access to supportive housing in our community.”
Fresno Mayor Lee Brand first announced the Street2Home initiative during his State of the City address last June. Still in the planning stages, the goal is to reduce homelessness in Fresno County by 50 percent by next year.
Over the past ten years, chronic homelessness in Fresno County has been reduced by 38 percent. However, there were still 1,834 homeless people in Fresno County in 2018, according to a Street2Home report.