UPDATED COMPLETE LIST OF CITY AND COUNTY HOMELESSNESS FUNDING AND INFO. Concentration on the years 2015 to 2019. This is the beginnings locally of “housing first” and the coordinated entry system of homeless services management. A lot has changed since I first started researching and compiling data for this project. At first the focus was just on “homelessness” funding with attention paid to federal and state dollars that came through the CDC and went to programs and non-profits to combat homelessness. As I dive deeper and deeper following the money trails my focus has expanded to the behavioral health section of the County’s budget. Furthermore, the voucher program is one aspect of homeless funding that I haven’t started on yet either.

What started as a rough tally of $64M in funding in 5 years with virtually no improvement in reducing homelessness in any meaningful way, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that I’m undercounting the amount significantly. This entire project is borne out of frustration. The point is not to say that we should not devote resources to a vulnerable population. Of course we should help those in need. The problem is we are allocating 10s of millions of taxpayer dollars towards a problem with poor program management, faulty self-reported data, and low performance metrics.

News flash: This just in from Congressman Thompson’s office. Sonoma County received $88M in homeless funding last year. This was from a statement by Congressman Thompson made during a recent live town hall(Jan 2020). Someone shared the link with me and I asked to have any data from the Senator’s office to be sent to me. I provided the breakdown at the bottom.

The facts are:
– We’ve had significant attention and funding made towards reducing homelessness since 2015. Santa Rosa declared a homeless emergency in July of 2016 with bold promises and funding was doubled from previous years. https://www.ktvu.com/news/santa-rosa-declares-homeless-state-of-emergency
https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/5936210-181/santa-rosa-declares-emergency-on

– Sonoma County declared a homeless emergency in July of 2018. Again bold promises to tackle the issue and award funding. https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/CDC/Homeless-Services/ http://sonoma-county.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=&event_id=949&meta_id=246194

– A “task force” comprised of city and county leaders and other community members was formed in Nov of 2018 to be the de facto leadership body to have all homeless services and decisions under one roof. This was from an emergency meeting in Nov 2017 of both the city council and the county to address the growing homeless issue. That is the Home Sonoma Leadership Council. They are the ones that make all the strategic decisions and award the funding.
https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Home-Sonoma-Leadership-Council/ https://www.petaluma360.com/news/7614509-181/sonoma-county-santa-rosa-team?sba=AAS

– Catholic Charities has a $1.1M contract with the city to provide the official homeless services. They have a HOST-homeless services outreach team that is tasked with engaging and offering services to the unsheltered population at places like Joe Rodota Trail. They also have a trailer with showers that parks at various places to the homeless to clean up and again engage them by offering services. Every quarterly report to the city (required) shows 100% “engagement” with individuals contacted through and placed into the Coordinate Entry System(CES). They are found by on the ground engagement by outreach workers, calls to the hotline to report locations, through the shower trailer and through the homeless services center.
https://sonoma-county.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4075678&GUID=AE94AE2A-4168-4740-AF2C-C10EC9573166&Options&Search&fbclid=IwAR2Y2_PZTxTkoISDC59axU5-BqSx3cldl3sa3kpQ0kFyybdpGJC7SsjscX0

https://srcity.org/764/Homeless-Outreach-Services-Team-HOST

– The county receives $3M+ every year from HUD for homeless services. 2015-$3M https://files.hudexchange.info/reports/published/CoC_AwardComp_CoC_CA-504-2015_CA_2015.pdf
2016-$3M https://files.hudexchange.info/reports/published/CoC_AwardComp_CoC_CA-504- 2016_CA_2016.pdf
2017-$3.3M https://files.hudexchange.info/reports/published/CoC_AwardComp_CoC_CA-504-2018_CA_2017.pdf
2018-$3.7M https://files.hudexchange.info/reports/published/CoC_AwardComp_CoC_CA-504- 2018_CA_2018.pdf
2019-$3.9M http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=2147575714 –

-$1.8M from a CDBG-community development block grant. https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/CDC/Housing- and-Neighborhood-Investment/Funding-Opportunities/CDBG/

-WPC-Whole Person Care program. $16.7M over 5 years starting in 2017. This is under the Department of Health Services Behavioral Health Division. Many programs “overlap” what segment of the population is served. It’s not just funding through the CDC that is applied to the homeless population which is why scope of my research is expanding.
An additional $3.2M was awarded in 2019. County was put under “corrective action” for low enrollment. Semi-annual reports to the state are required of analysis of program efficacy. Furthermore as recently as latest Joe Rodota Trail crisis, Jul-Dec 2019, “While the IMDT team has had limited success convincing their trail clients to accept shelter, they continue to help them access primary health and mental health care, enroll in benefits, and make better decisions that reduce recidivism and relapse.”
https://sonoma-county.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=8004067&GUID=B633D3FC-3D13-4F4E-97E0- 0DB80DBD6EA8 https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/9405780-181/sonoma-county-health-program-for
Sonoma County Behavioral Health Division Receives Whole Person Care Pilot Award
SONOMA COUNTY – File #: 2019-1397
Whole Person Care Basic Statistics
Sonoma WPC Application
Whole Person Care: A Mid-Point Review March 2019 https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/Documents/MCQMD/WPC%20Narrative%20Reports/Sonoma_County_ WPC_PY3_Annual_Report.pdf

– HEAP-Homeless Emergency Aid Program. $14M was approved in April of this year by the Home Sonoma Leadership Council that went to 18 different non-profits for homeless services and capital awards. $2.7M was the prior year award amount. https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/CDC/Homeless-Services/Annual-Homeless-Count/News/19-20- Homeless-Service-Funding-Awards/

– CESH-California Emergency Solutions Housing Program awarded us $481,447. From my notes at a Home Sonoma Leadership Council meeting. https://www.hcd.ca.gov/grants-funding/active-funding/cesh.shtml#awarded Submitted request for data for verification.

– NPLH-No Place Like Home $2B state program where we got $29M for supportive housing services. That went to 3 projects, Burbank Housing in partnership with Catholic Charities for Caritas Village, Heritage House in Napa, and a 3rd for a project slated to go in on College Ave by Danco Communities. https://www.hcd.ca.gov/grants-funding/active-funding/nplh.shtml https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/9727131-181/north-bay-gets-29-million

– We will be getting more funds from HHAP-Homeless Housing Assistance and Prevention. Signed into law July 31 2019 by Gov Newsom. Estimated preliminary allocation is approximately $3.5M. https://www.bcsh.ca.gov/hcfc/documents/2019pit_preliminary_allocation.pdf

-Partnership Healthplan of California. $4.9M. In July 2017, Partnership HealthPlan of California released a Request for Proposals to address the critical housing and housing-related needs that affect the health and overall costs of healthcare for its members. A total of $4,917,538 was designated for Sonoma County projects. See Appendix C. https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=2147569113 http://www.partnershiphp.org/Community/Documents/Housing%20RFP.pdf

-Homeless count by year in Sonoma County.
2015-3107
2016-2906
2017-2835
2018-2996
2019-2951
Homeless count of unsheltered people in Santa Rosa by year. This is within city limits not including unincorporated.
2016-979
2017-769
2018-863
2019-954
https://srcity.org/DocumentCenter/View/24921/2019-Sonoma-County-Homeless-Census-and-Survey- Comprehensive-Report?bidId=
We’ve consistently been the highest to no better than 3rd highest in our CoC category for unaccompanied homeless youth. We’re similarly never below top 4 in overall homelessness in our respective CoC category, since 2015. We have not reduced homelessness in any meaningful way. Any statement to the contrary is playing fast and loose with the data. https://files.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/2019-AHAR-Part-1.pdf https://files.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/2018-AHAR-Part-1.pdf https://files.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/2016-AHAR-Part-1.pdf https://files.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/2015-AHAR-Part-1.pdf

Much has been made by certain politicians that we “reduced homelessness by 40%” in the past 5 years. That is absolutely not true as shown above and the following. The largest drop shown in the PIT count was from 2014 to 2015. Again remember 2015 was the start of the new bold plans to address homelessness and the adoption of Housing First and CES. What is never told is that HUD has changed over the years how people are categorized and classified as “unsheltered” or “sheltered” or “chronically homeless”.
Furthermore, a specific CoC can also alter how people are classified. HUD warns about this in their reports.

“Last year HUD promulgated regulations to further restrict the definition of what constitutes chronic homelessness, adding layers to an already complex definition (see the detailed definition in sidebar, page 2). The narrowness of this definition excludes many homeless single adults, and even more parents and children.”
http://solutionsforchange.org/wp-content/uploads/Duffield_Creating-Chronic-Homelessness_101316.pdf

Total unsheltered homeless for 2014-3309.
Total unsheltered homeless for 2015-2060.

1249 people, poof! You would then theorize that the sheltered cohort would show a corresponding jump in numbers. Unsheltered individuals put in the CES(coordinated entry system) and into Emergency Shelter and Transitional Housing. This is the whole point. Get a vulnerable individual off the street and into the “system of care” and through the pipeline to safe, secure housing of some sort that is appropriate for their condition or situation.
2014. ES-570. TH-387
2015. ES-634. TH-403
This was a change of 80 more people into PSH. Where did the other 1169 people go? Nowhere. It was a change in how people are counted and classified.
https://files.hudexchange.info/reports/published/CoC_PopSub_CoC_CA-504-2014_CA_2014.pdf
https://files.hudexchange.info/reports/published/CoC_PopSub_CoC_CA-504-2015_CA_2015.pdf

I know someone is going to say that the drop is attributed to them moving to PSH-permanent supportive housing since the PIT count doesn’t include people in PSH as homeless.
Total number of PSH year-round beds in 2014-1988.
Total number of PSH year-round beds in 2015-2049. https://files.hudexchange.info/reports/published/CoC_HIC_CoC_CA-504-2014_CA_2014.pdf https://files.hudexchange.info/reports/published/CoC_HIC_CoC_CA-504-2015_CA_2015.pdf

As you can see, there was no way possible to house an additional 1169 in Sonoma County at that time. The only explanation is a change in count methodology. Period.

Here’s the funding breakdown from Congressman Thompson’s office: Federal Resources to Address Homelessness FY2019 Sum $88,419,478.
Agency/Program/$$/Recipient
HUD-Emergency Solutions Grant
$219,283 CoC
HUD-Continuum of Care (CoC)
$3,900,000 CoC
HUD-HUD-VASH
$51,983 Sonoma County CDC
HUD-HUD-VASH
$112,874 SR Housing Authority
HUD-HOME Investment Partnerships Program
$800,000 Sonoma County CDC
HUD-HOME Investment Partnerships Program
$675,091 SR Housing Authority
HUD-Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS
$437,814 SR Housing Authority
DHS-Emergency Food and Shelter
$100,000 United Way of the Wine Country
HHS-Street Outreach Program
$150,000 Social Advocates for Youth (SAY)
HHS-Basic Center Program
$200,000 SAY
HHS-Maternity Group Home
$250,000 SAY
HUD-Housing Choice (Section 8) Vouchers
$39,000,000 SR Housing Authority
HUD-Housing Choice (Section 8) Vouchers
$42,000,000 Sonoma County CDC
VA-Grant and Per Diem Program
$845,000 Vet Resource Center
HUD-Tenant Protection Voucher Funding Awards
$115,247 SR Housing Authority