You don’t have to go far to see people experiencing homelessness in our community. Increasing home and rental costs, unmet mental health care needs and high unemployment resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic are just a few of the reasons that people lack basic shelter. In 2020, 248,130 Californians sought assistance from local housing officials, with 117,109 of those still without permanent housing.
How can we help to end the homelessness crisis and what resources are available to make sure that every person has the dignity and security of having a place to call home? Please join Assemblymember Marc Levine on Wednesday, July 14 at 3 p.m. along with a panel of experts to discuss solutions to homelessness in the North Bay. We will be joined by Michael Gause, Program Manager for Sonoma County’s Ending Homelessness Program and Andrew Hening, Project Director for Opening Doors Marin to discuss short- and long-term solutions to the homelessness crisis.
As part of the 2021-22 state budget, Assemblymember Levine worked to include over $10.6 billion for programs to combat homelessness including Project Homekey, which awards grants to help local governments acquire hotels, motels, apartments and other buildings to provide homes for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Additionally, the budget included $4 million to support Homeward Bound of Marin, a program targeted to help end veteran homelessness. The state also recently awarded three grants to Sonoma and Marin counties totaling more than $15 million to develop affordable housing and mental health services here in the North Bay.
Additionally, Assemblymember Levine recently supported legislation to extend California’s COVID-19 eviction moratorium through September 30, 2021. This extension will keep those economically impacted by COVID-19 to stay in their homes and provides 100 percent rental relief for landlords, covering all unpaid rent due to the pandemic. Tenants and landlords can apply for assistance here.
Do you have a question about homelessness that you would like to ask during the town hall? Please email me at Assemblymember.Levine@Assembly.ca.gov and we will try to have our panel of experts answer your questions.
- Michael Gause, Ending Homelessness Program Manager, County of Sonoma
- Andrew Hening, Project Director, Opening Doors Marin