published on January 14, 2019 - 1:49 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) awarded $53.3 million to organizations throughout the state to help fight homelessness, with the Central Valley receiving nearly $3 million.

The Fresno County Department of Social Services received $1.56 million, while the Kings/Tulare Continuum of Care on Homelessness got $1.24 million.

The funding comes from the California Emergency Solutions and Housing (CESH) program, a state program that provides funding for activities to assist people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Shawn Jenkins, Chair for Fresno/Madera Continuum of Care, says that the money will be used for assistance in triage centers, bridge housing, outreach, landlord engagement, and homelessness planning, among other forms of assistance. 

“Our goal is to make a dent in our street homeless population,” Jenkins said. “Not one entity or agency can solve homelessness in our community. Its going to take a system wide effort.”

Authorized by housing bill SB 850, the CESH program is run by the HCD, and funding coming from the Building Homes and Jobs Act Trust Fund and the remaining California Emergency Solutions Grant funds.

“We have a long way to go to address the housing needs of Californians who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness,” says HCD Director Ben Metcalf. “We have made and will continue to make authorized resources available for that purpose, and we are excited to be taking this step toward ending homelessness in California.”

Nearly 130,000 people in California do not have a permanent and safe place to live and sleep in parks, under bridges or in their cars, and the state has responded by providing funds to help cities and counties address the issue of homelessness.

CESH program funds have been given to applicants and Continuums of Care – regional or local planning bodies that coordinate housing and services funding for homeless families and individuals – to assist Californians with rental assistance, housing relocation, stabilization services, outreach services and more.

All of the 43 Continuums of Care representing each county in the state will be receiving funds.

The second and final round of CESH funding is expected to be available by the spring to provide essential resources to help homeless families and individuals.

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