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Supervisors: Approve homelessness grant

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors have approved a grant to provide homeless services at its Dec. 4 meeting. The Fresno-Madera Continuum of Care coordinates such services and will receive $9.5 million in Homeless Emergency Aid Program funds.

FRESNO – The Fresno County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution at its Dec. 4 meeting to help address homelessness.

The supervisors approved the Shelter Crisis resolution that will enable the County to receive much needed Homeless Emergency Aid Program grant funding dedicated to providing homeless services for those in need.

“This is an important step to increase the programs addressing the growing crisis of homelessness,” Fresno County Administrative Officer Jean Rousseau said. “This funding will enable the implementation of critical projects that will enhance our current efforts and provide necessary support for new programs.”

The grant is made available through the California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council and is designed to address the homelessness crisis throughout California. Funding is available to Continuums of Care and cities with populations over 330,000.

A Continuum of Care is a regional or local planning body that coordinates housing and services funding for homeless families and individuals. In 2017, the FMCoC identified 1,745 homeless individuals in Fresno County. In 2018, this “Point-in-time” count identified 1,834 – an increase of 5 percent.

Upon approval of the grant, the Fresno-Madera Continuum of Care will be allocated $9.5 million for use in providing eligible homeless services within the Continuum of Care’s jurisdiction in both the incorporated and unincorporated areas of Fresno and Madera Counties through June 30, 2021. These services may include:

• 24-hour/7-day-a-week housing-focused emergency shelter

• Shelter for those assessed and awaiting permanent housing

• Strategies that help those experiencing a housing crisis quickly identify & access safe alternatives to emergency shelter

• Enhance the Coordinated Entry System

• Housing relocation and stabilization services along with rental assistance and essential services necessary to reach out to unsheltered individuals.

HEAP funds also require that five percent, or $475,069, be set aside for youth homeless services.

The Fresno County Department of Social Services will be responsible for administering HEAP funds to the FMCoC and designated service providers under the Continuum’s jurisdiction, through the County’s procurement process.

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