PRESS RELEASE: Senate Leadership Proposal of Permanent Homelessness Funding Wins Advocate Cheers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE • Thursday, April 27, 2023
CONTACT: Jen Wheeler, Ocean & Mountain • (310) 344-1551 • [email protected]
SENATE LEADERSHIP PROPOSAL OF PERMANENT HOMELESSNESS FUNDING WINS ADVOCATE CHEERS
ATKINS AND SKINNER’S “PROTECT OUR PROGRESS” PLAN SHOWS HOW CALIFORNIA CAN GET SERIOUS ABOUT HOMELESSNESS SOLUTIONS
INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE WITH COALITION SPOKESPEOPLE
LOS ANGELES, CA – The Bring California Home Coalition supports the important first step toward ongoing funding for housing and homelessness from Senate Leadership yesterday with the release of the Protect Our Progress Senate Budget Plan. The budget plan would make a first-ever permanent commitment of $1 billion in ongoing funding to the Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) Grant Program, which allocates funds to local entities to tackle homelessness.
“The single biggest thing the state can do to hold local communities accountable for solving homelessness is provide predictable funding,” said Sharon Rapport, Director, California State Policy, Corporation for Supportive Housing. “This commitment would allow local communities and service providers on the ground to focus on long-term solutions. With an ongoing funding stream, local, state and federal stakeholders can begin to hold each other accountable to a united goal, ensuring our investments make the maximum impact.”
The budget plan’s commitment of ongoing funds sets in motion a number of virtuous circles. With it, local governments could ensure funding of long-term housing and prevention solutions, and would be able to contract with community-based organizations over multiple years. Multi-year contracts assure the non-profit services sector that they can hire staff, retain staff with higher wages, and employ more equitable policies.
“Ending homelessness demands commitment from our elected officials. Sustained funding is critical to that commitment, both nationally and in California,” said Ann Oliva, Chief Executive Officer, National Alliance to End Homelessness. “We applaud the California Senate leadership’s bold support for making funding to address homelessness permanent. This is an essential step to end homelessness in California, and it sets an example to the rest of the country of what it will take to get it done.”
“Achieving ambitious and equitable housing outcomes for our unhoused neighbors won’t happen without long-term funding from the State,” Chione Flegal, Executive Director, Housing California. “We appreciate Pro Tem Atkins and Senate Budget Chair Nancy Skinner for their bold leadership and affirming the role of ongoing funding for homelessness in addressing our affordable housing crisis.”
When service providers have resources they can count on, it translates to solutions for the homelessness crisis. For example the commitment three years ago to invest ten percent of homelessness grants to address youth homelessness has seen powerful results.
“Youth homelessness has decreased 21% in California since 2020, a direct result of the state’s HHAP investment in youth,” said Simone Tureck Lee, Director of Housing and Health, John Burton Advocates for Youth. “Ongoing funding, as proposed by the Senate, would enable our state to continue to move the needle on preventing young people from becoming chronically homeless adults.”
The budget plan would also generate administrative cost savings by creating the potential to apply for multiple years of funding and allow jurisdictions to work more closely across regions and implement innovations to move people more quickly into housing.
“I am deeply appreciative of Senate Pro Tem Atkins and Budget Chair Skinner prioritizing ongoing funding to fight homelessness,” said Tamera Kohler, Chief Executive Officer of the Regional Task Force on Homelessness. “I know ongoing funding will create better housing outcomes, increase efficiency and allow implementation of lasting solutions with deeper impacts. This commitment is what’s been needed to see real reduction of homelessness across California.”
The Bring California Home coalition was formed in 2021 to advocate for a transformational approach to homelessness with investment at scale, bold solutions, and continued funding. It includes homelessness advocates, local governments, nonprofits, affordable housing and service providers, and grassroots community organizations dedicated to reversing the cycle of homelessness in California.
“All of us want a homeless response system that is robust, accountable, and effective, “ said Jennifer Hark Dietz, CEO, PATH. “This proposed budget gives the State the tools to build such a system.Consistent, ongoing funding of the State’s Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention Grant Program allows local governments and service providers to deliver the sustained, stable solutions that Californians want to see.”
The Bring California Home Coalition is a diverse group of homelessness advocates, local government, and nonprofit staff, affordable housing and providers, and community organizations dedicated to reversing the cycle of homelessness in California. Visit us at https://bringcahome.org/.