By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– An estimated 3,400 homeless individuals and families at imminent risk of homelessness will benefit from more than $6.6 million in state grant funding distributed today by the Board of Supervisors to 15 local agencies throughout the county.
An additional $2.3 million in grant funding will be distributed to seven additional local agencies in the near future.
The funds are a portion of nearly $9.4 million the county received from the $500 million Homeless Emergency Aid Program, or HEAP, block grant funding program created by the state last year.
The county will use more than $6.3 million to support homeless prevention and diversion programs, general homeless services, homeless outreach, reentry services, emergency shelter response, utility assistance, moving assistance, transportation services, document readiness, eviction services and housing search and stability. Almost $1.3 million will go toward rental subsidies. More than $1 million will be set aside specifically to assist homeless youth, and $213,000 will go toward shelter acquisition projects to serve the homeless.
Funds will be provided to the cities of Barstow, Colton, Montclair, Redlands, Rialto and Upland, the Morongo Unified School District, and community organizations based in San Bernardino, Victorville, Twentynine Palms, Apple Valley, Redlands, Hesperia, Fontana and elsewhere collectively serving homeless throughout the entire county.
Ending homelessness in San Bernardino County is a priority for the Board of Supervisors, who created the San Bernardino County Homeless Partnership in 2007. In July 2016, the board launched an initiative to assist homeless veterans and since then has successfully housed 1,096 veterans. Since January 2017, 191 chronically homeless people with mental health issues have been housed.
San Bernardino County’s innovative approaches to address homelessness – which have received accolades at the state and national levels – focus on collaboration, creation of available dwelling units, whole-person healthcare, jobs, and technology.
On April 16, the Board of Supervisors and Gov. Gavin Newsom held a roundtable discussion about the county’s efforts to fight homelessness and solutions to the problem moving forward. Newsom said he was so inspired by the “big ideas” at work in San Bernardino County that he will work with the state Legislature to set aside funding in the state’s upcoming 2019-2020 budget to enhance support for the county’s efforts.