The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 Tuesday in favor of $10 million in one-time grants to help cities combat homelessness, and for accessing a state program to help homeless youth.
Money for the grants comes from the county budget, while the state of California funds the Homeless, Housing, Assistance and Prevention program.
Supervisor Joel Anderson was absent from Tuesday's meeting due to illness, according to the county board clerk.
Board Chairman Nathan Fletcher said Tuesday's action "is a continuation of our commitment to work with other regional leaders to make progress on the most pressing issues our community is facing. We're in the fight, and we're not backing down."
Grants can be used to turn properties into shelters, safe parking or camping spots, or tiny homes.
The county will inform 18 city jurisdictions about grant opportunities. According to Fletcher's office, applicants must follow these guidelines:
—a municipality may submit multiple projects, but each will be evaluated on an independent basis;
—award notification should be announced 30 days after the application period closes;
— applications will be accepted during a 30-day period.
— additional application periods will be opened until all the funds are spent; and
— projects with the earliest operational date will be considered first.
The HHAP funds will cover:
— Housing Our Youth, an integrated care coordination program designed to provide homeless youth with immediate housing and wraparound support, which officials say has served 267 young people, and permanently housed 108 of them, as of March 2022;
— Community Harm Reduction Teams, which focuses on San Diego's Midway and East Village neighborhoods and homeless residents suffering from substance use and related mental health issues by connecting them with behavioral health services, temporary shelter, permanent housing and other services; and
— Community Harm Reduction Safe Haven, a collaborative effort with the city of San Diego to provide transitional housing based on harm-reduction principles and offer behavioral health support.