Hayward’s two- and one-half-year-old Housing Navigation Center and other responses are successfully moving people off the streets and into permanent housing, results of the latest Point-in-Time Count of people experiencing homelessness confirm.
The Point-in-Time Count carried out across the Bay Area on Feb. 23 found 381 people experiencing homelessness in Hayward—with 114 of these individuals unsheltered—figures that were down 22 percent and 28 percent, respectively from the last Point-in-Time Count three years ago in January 2019.
The 2022 Count was based on a census of individuals enrolled in shelter services the night of Feb. 22 and counted during a canvass of the City the morning of Feb. 23. Though PIT count methodology is understood to undercount certain subgroups like youth and families, overall the results for Hayward indicate the City’s increased investment in addressing homelessness is making an impact and that there is a need and potential for making still further progress.
The City’s Housing Navigation Center has been a vital component of Hayward’s success. Since the Center opened on Nov. 18, 2019, it has served 255 people—with 138 of 208 who have exited the program having transitioned into some form of permanent housing.
At the Navigation Center Annex, a motel converted for similar use with emergency COVID-19 funding from the federal government, 126 additional individuals have been served—with 68 of 89 to exiting into permanent housing.
The Navigation Center and Navigation Center Annex are the leading edge of the City’s Let’s House Hayward! Strategic Plan for reducing homelessness, which was adopted by the City Council in July 2021 and which got a boost from federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.
Among other ARPA-funded efforts: $2 million to expand the Winter Warming Shelter at South Hayward Parish starting in October 2021 to provide overnight service with dinner and breakfast and year-round daytime hours and a new Shallow Rental Subsidy program to prevent the most at-risk households from re-entering homelessness.