Connecting state and local government leaders
The shelter addresses alternative housing and health and human services needs.
Yuba County in Northern California unveiled a 20-unit homeless shelter last week for temporary stays that doubles as a one-stop shop for government health and human services.
Dubbed “14Forward”, after the 8-by-14-foot homes built, the project aims to address the 2014 rise in local homeless among three primary encampments.
Around 30 county and city agencies, nonprofits, faith-based organizations and businesses collaborated to bring the alternative housing to the region.
“We just all came to one table, blew up all the silos and decided it was time that we needed to talk about this—not just interdepartmentally—but we wanted to talk also with our area services,” says county Supervisor John Nicoletti in this California State Association of Counties video.
Many of the homeless seeking assistance have been out on the county’s streets for more than a decade or in prison.
Normally it takes two or three years to pick a location, design a project, build the necessary partnerships, and have construction and utility supplies delivered. But 14Forward arranged everything in two months.
The homeless have access to mental health, social and nonprofit services on site, as well as substance abuse counselors.
“It’s a quick window of time, where we’re going to envelop them in services and get them connected with the right folks that can help them move forward in their progress toward permanent housing,” says Chaya Galicia, the county’s homeless project manager.
Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington D.C.