Thursday, March 23, 2017

First Meeting of No Place Like Home Advisory Committee Held


This morning, I listened to the audio broadcast of the initial meeting of California's "No Place Like Home" Advisory Committee.  This is the committee charged with overseeing the implementation of $2 Billion in Prop 63 funds to produce permanent housing throughout the state for chronic mentally ill homeless.

Nine of the 15 members attended the Sacramento meeting, and all began the meeting with powerful personal stories demonstrating the sources of their passion and experience.  Led by the Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development, I came away believing these were the best state and local bureaucrats one could assemble to try to make sense of a complex new program. Their lives were all deeply impacted by the issue, and they were now in a position to shape a significant step toward some relief.

After a staff-delivered slide presentation outlining the program design, timeline, and stakeholder concerns, members of the audience and those on the phone were asked to comment.  Topics included: rural county perceptions that they would have difficulty submitting competitive applications; tribal calls to ensure broad collaboration; inquiries on guideline language which seems to exclude at-risk youth; clarification on stakeholder topics raised involving integration requirements, outcome measures, and the definition of At-Risk Chronic Homeless; and a plea to fill the one seat reserved for a user of supportive housing before the next meeting.

On the upside, funds to support county development of improved capability to compete for the funds will be distributed soon.  Less upside, there are still plenty of questions to be raised and answered before the Department can move forward with the issuance of applications for funding.

Here is the link to the Department No Place Like Home webpage, which contains (near the bottom) the materials from the meeting.

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