The Board of Supervisors this week launched a partnership with the county’s cities to invest a sizable share of the $72.7 million Homeless Initiatives Spending Plan approved by the Board of Supervisors in March toward increasing housing for the homeless throughout the county.
The plan sets aside $32.7 million specifically for partnerships between the county and cities to increase housing and system capacity, specifically by the creation of shelter beds with onsite services open to all homeless residents, permanent supportive housing and rapid rehousing options as well as by addressing systemic barriers that prevent housing connections and placements.
The Board convened a meeting with representatives from 16 of the county’s 24 cities on Tuesday and key county government agencies and service organizations to discuss ways in which the county and cities could partner on solutions.
“We must increase capacity as this housing is clearly not sufficient to house the current unsheltered homeless population,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Dawn Rowe. “The county wants to work with the cities because they are closest to our homeless individuals and are in the best position to know what will work in their communities.”
“Collectively the County Board of Supervisors has taken a major step in addressing some of the challenges of homelessness by making key investments to build treatment facilities that will provide supportive services and resume our street outreach,” said Fifth District Supervisor Joe Baca, Jr. “We want to continue collaborating with our community cities and partners to work on this issue for our county residents.”
“The time to act is now,” said Second District Supervisor Jesse Armendarez. “Cities including Fontana have proposed key projects that will help stop the bleeding on homelessness. It’s clear from one end of the county to the other that we need to address this head on.”
The results of the 2023 San Bernardino County Homeless Point in Time Count, announced last week, showed homelessness had increased 26 percent during the past year. A total of 4,195 homeless individuals were counted of which 2,976 individuals were unsheltered.
However, there are currently only 797 emergency shelter beds in the county, only 192 of which are available to the general population. There are also 489 transitional beds and 1,654 permanent supportive housing units.
Present were representatives from Adelanto, Big Bear Lake, Chino, Chino Hills, Colton, Fontana, Highland, Montclair, Needles, Redlands, Rialto, San Bernardino, Twentynine Palms, Upland, Yucaipa, and Yucca Valley.
In response to the need for additional housing options and other services for the homeless, on March 28 the Board of Supervisors approved the Homeless Initiatives Spending Plan, which will leverage $72.7 million in federal, state and county resources to support the landmark 2022 Homeless Strategic Action Plan approved by the board in June. The funding plan includes:
- $32.7 million for city/county partnerships that increase housing and system capacity.
- $36.6 million for existing and expansion projects that provide immediate sheltering and service-enriched housing, including:
- Pacific Village Phase II Expansion
- Kern Street Adult Residential Facility Expansion
- Project Roomkey Continuance
- $3.4 million for outreach and engagement services for the unsheltered street population to support the Sheriff’s Homeless Outreach and Proactive Enforcement (HOPE) team, County Behavioral Health, and County Aging and Adult Services.
About San Bernardino County: San Bernardino County is a diverse public service organization serving America’s largest county. We are governed by an elected Board of Supervisors and dedicated to creating a community where nearly 2.2 million residents can prosper and achieve well-being as outlined in the Countywide Vision. It is comprised of 42 departments and agencies, which are staffed by more than 25,000 public service professionals who provide a wide range of vital services in the areas of public safety, health care, social services, economic and community development and revitalization, fiscal services, infrastructure, recreation and culture, and internal support. San Bernardino County’s organizational culture is defined by the four pillars of value, innovation, service, and vision. For more information, visit sbcounty.gov.