Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rapid re-housing will help in shelter-in-winter effort

An article by Kathleen Heeley in the Sacramento Press sets the boost in the number of beds for area homeless this winter at 419, which is quite a significant increase from the 150 beds the county has paid for in winters past.

This coming late fall and winter the city, county, federal government, nonprofit organizations and private donors will all fund a robust effort to give homeless people in our community places to sleep at night. Details on the funding and how new and pre-existing shelters will be constituted will be learned, from the mayor's office, with an event on Nov. 5.

Reporter Heeley's count of beds is up 150 from the 269 that had been reported at a mayor's news conference on Oct. 23. Ms. Heeley tells us, in her new article "Agencies plan to set up 419 winter shelter beds" and first comment to the article, that the 150 beds are paid for via "stimulus money ... coming through the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP)." The "beds" through this program are in rental units for homeless people with jobs. The rental units [apartments, rented houses] will be heavily rent-subsudized for three months, freeing-up shelter beds for other homeless people.

Certainly this rapid re-housing program is a boon to relieve suffering in the homeless community, whether or not there is a direct correlation, in all cases, of working homeless moving into an apartment or house and thereby a shelter bed being made available elsewhere.

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