Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) has announced that the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has awarded more than $1 million in Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) to Orange and San Diego counties to reduce homelessness. These grants are in addition to the $2.5 million in state funding that Senator Bates previously announced in October 2019.
“I thank the California Department of Housing and Community Development for its efforts to direct vital resources to Orange and San Diego counties,” said Senator Bates, a member of the Senate Housing Committee and former social worker. “These grants will help connect more people who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness with the services they need. I will continue to work with my colleagues at every level of government to ensure that our communities receive their fair share of public funding to address homelessness.”
Funding for the grants comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grants’ purpose is to eliminate homelessness by assisting individuals and families to achieve independence through rapid rehousing assistance, emergency shelters, street outreach, counseling, substance abuse treatment, and job training.
The County of Orange will receive $605,188 and the County of San Diego will receive $453,822 to fund various activities related to homelessness.
Senator Bates has long engaged in efforts to reduce homelessness through a variety of approaches such as:
- Co-authoring AB 448 (Daly, 2018) to establish the Orange County Housing Finance Trust, which is a public-private effort to reduce homelessness by developing permanent supportive housing. Governor Brown signed this bill into law.
- Authored SB 486 this year to end “patient brokering” in recovery residences, where men and women with addiction issues in other states have been recruited to California facilities through offers of free travel, rent, cigarettes, and even manicures. Upon arrival to the treatment facilities and sober living homes, the patients frequently find they have been deceived, and are merely pawns in a profit scheme, resulting in chronic relapses, overdoses, and their release into local communities. The bill is currently pending in the Legislature.
- Authored SB 392 in 2017 that would have provided grants to non-profit organizations that assist individuals receiving CalWORKs benefits in achieving economic independence and required that such organizations maintain a sober environment for the people they serve. SB 392 failed to advance from the State Assembly.
- Supported the “No Place Like Home” legislation in 2016 (AB 1618) to provide $2 billion for the housing and treatment of Californians with mental illness. The plan – signed by Governor Brown – includes funding negotiated by Republicans to help homeless youth and veterans, along with accountability measures to ensure funds are spent properly. The funds come from Proposition 63, which was passed by voters in 2004 to provide treatment for people with mental illness.
This article was released by the Office of Senator Patricia Bates.