Council Considers Five-Year Program to Aid the Unhoused

Council Considers Five-Year Program to Aid the Unhoused

Sun Staff Reports

At its Tuesday, Oct. 5, meeting City Council considered City Staff’s recommendation to approve “The Road Home: A 5 Year Plan to Prevent and Respond to Homelessness in Alameda.”

According to Staff, the plan provides an achievable roadmap for addressing homelessness here. Staff based this evaluation on existing programs and the latest available data.

From 2017 to 2019, the number of unhoused people in the city rose by 13% to 231 individuals. Of these, 132 individuals were unsheltered. Though unconfirmed, this number has likely increased over the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors.

While any number of people living on the street or in their cars is too many, the challenges of being unhoused are solvable with the right strategies.

With fewer than 300 unhoused people on any given day, and only half of them unsheltered, the scale of the problem presents Alameda with an opportunity to make a meaningful impact on preventing and reducing homelessness in the community.

Staff began working on this plan in January. Staff members contracted with Homebase, a Council Considers Five-Year Program to Aid the Unhoused nationally recognized expert on the unhoused, with extensive technical assistance and facilitation experience.

Homebase has completed an assessment of existing programs and systems and conducted extensive stakeholder engagement, including Steering Committee meetings, two community meetings, an online survey, and multiple focus groups and individual interviews.

After working with Homebase, Staff brought a series of preliminary goals and strategies to both the City Council and the Social Services and Human Relations Board (SSHRB) for review and feedback.

In August, SSHRB reviewed and provided feedback on an earlier version of the plan. The current version of the Strategic Plan, incorporates feedback provided by the SSHRB,

At Tuesday’s meeting, Staff was scheduled to provide the City Council with a verbal update on the outcome of the SSHRB meeting.

The primary purpose of the Strategic Plan is to provide a roadmap to prevent and reduce first time homelessness, reduce chronic homelessness, shorten the period of time an individual or household remains unhoused, and to decrease returns to homelessness.