AGENDA REPORT. From the San Mateo County Supervisors Agenda Report for the Tuesday, December 13th, 2022 meeting, held at 9:00am as a hybrid meeting.
Adopt a resolution authorizing:
A) The awards of the Working Together to End Homelessness (WTEH) Innovation Grant Program to the City of Half Moon Bay in the amount of $983,704; the City of Millbrae in the amount of $370,572; and the City of Redwood City in the amount of $1,047,450; and
B) The County Executive, or designee, to enter into and execute grant agreements with the selected cities for the WTEH Innovation Grant Program, in a total amount not to exceed $2,401,726; and
C) To increase the WTEH Innovation Grant Program allocation from $2,000,000 to a revised total of $2,401,726.
To: Honorable Board of Supervisors
From: Michael P. Callagy, County Executive
Subject: Awards Under Working Together to End Homelessness Innovation Fund Grant Program
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the County has worked hard to safely house our homeless residents, a population that has been uniquely impacted by the public health emergency and its negative economic consequences. Using a combination of State Home Key funds, County funds, and other sources, the County has purchased five hotels, adding 313 units of interim and permanent housing for unhoused residents. Another 240 units serving 260 individuals will be added when the Navigation Center-a County facility that will provide shelter and support services-opens toward the end of this year. The County has also expanded medical, social, and behavioral health services for residents living on the streets and in encampments. In addition, the Board approved an appropriation of $2,005,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds on September 13, 2022 to establish a $2,000,000 Working Together to End Homelessness Innovation Grant Program and $5,000 for the administration of the program by the San Mateo Credit Union Community Fund.
The Working Together to End Homelessness (WTEH) Innovation Grant program was created to support the piloting of bold and innovative approaches to assist the 1,092 unsheltered residents of San Mateo County in engaging with service providers, and to help them successfully transition to interim or permanent housing. Programs addressing one or more of the following focus areas were eligible for grants: unsheltered residents living on the streets and in encampments; vehicularly housed residents living in cars, vans, and RVs; and/or economic self-sufficiency.
The WTEH grant application period opened on September 14, 2022 and ended on October 7, 2022. Nine proposals were submitted by a combination of cities and community partners. All proposals were reviewed and rated by a six-member Advisory Committee that included County and community subject matter experts. The Advisory Committee recommended funding three proposals.
First, Redwood City’s proposal will pilot multiple concepts to achieve functional zero homelessness within the city’s jurisdiction and build on efforts to complement the Countywide Coordinated Entry System (CES). The city will expand and intensify homeless outreach utilizing a by-name list approach; assignment of outreach workers to specific encampments; developing and deploying an inter-agency coordination of HOT teams; providing Hotel Respite; on-demand shelter when appropriate; and working with County partners to address barriers and challenges for those hardest to serve who are still unsheltered. The amount to fund the WTEH grant to Redwood City would total One Million Forty-Seven Thousand, Four-Hundred Fifty Dollars and Zero Cents ($1,047,450.00.)
Second, Millbrae has developed and piloted a program to the unsheltered population surrounding the BART/SFO transportation corridor in their city to provide after-hours outreach, engagement, and case management services to individuals experiencing homelessness. The proposal is to expand the project to provide daytime case management and engagement in the downtown area. Services include shelter services, transportation assistance, referrals, and other supportive services with the goal to rapidly outreach and engage unsheltered individuals. The amount to fund the WTEH grant to Millbrae would total Three Hundred Seventy Thousand, Five Hundred Seventy-Two Dollars and Zero Cents ($370,572.00.)
Third, Half Moon Bay and WeHope have come together to launch a Coastside Safe Parking Initiative. The program’s goal is to provide vehicularly housed residents a safe and secure place to park their vehicles, provide use of hygiene facilities, and provide case management to assist them into interim housing and/or permanent housing. The amount to fund the WTEH grant to Half Moon Bay would total Nine Hundred Eighty-Three Thousand, Seven Hundred Four Dollars and Zero Cents ($983,704.00.)
The amount of the grants for the three proposals recommended for funding totals $401,726 more than the $2,000,000 in ARPA funds previously approved by this Board for the WTEH Innovation Grant Program. However, after close review of the proposals, staff recommend increasing the ARPA allocation for this grant program to fully fund the bold and creative work proposed by the cities and their community partners, which is responsive to the negative economic consequences of the pandemic on this community. Staff recommends that the Board authorize the County Executive, or designee, to enter into grant agreements and amendments, as necessary to award the funds to the selected cities.
In sum, staff are requesting that the Board allocate a total of an additional $401,726 in ARPA funds for the three city grants. Due to the nature of the contracts, staff now recommend that the grants be administered by the Human Services Agency. As a result, a contact with the San Mateo County Credit Union Community Fund to administer the grants is no longer necessary.
The County Attorney has reviewed and approved the resolution as to form.
There are no performance measures with this resolution but performance measures will be included in the grant agreements.
The Working Together to End Homelessness Innovation Grant program will be funded exclusively with ARPA funds to the extent available and eligible. However, to the extent appropriate, these costs may ultimately be covered by reimbursement from funds provided through other state and/or federal funds that may be made available in connection with the County’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The additional $401,726 in ARPA funds to be authorized by this resolution, for a total of $2,401,726 for the WTEH Grant Program, has been budgeted with ARPA funds and approved by the Board in the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 budget.
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