Santa Monica is launching a program to move 100 people from their temporary shelters to permanent housing, with the dual benefit of freeing up more capacity to remove unhodged people from local streets.
The initiative is made possible by funding made available to the city by the federal government through President Biden’s American rescue plan. Santa Monica has received 100 Emerging Housing Vouchers from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that can be used as permanent housing allowance for those who have been on the shelter system for three months or more.
“The Santa Monica Housing Authority was one of the few, perhaps a dozen or so public housing authorities in the county that received these coupons from the HUD,” said Maggie Willis, human resources director. “We will use this federal funding to maximize the capabilities of our local animal shelters. By prioritizing the people who are currently in our interim program, we can clear these beds and bring these people to a positive result. “
Santa Monica has about 380 emergency shelters across the city, but their capacity has been limited due to health and safety concerns since the pandemic began. Currently, almost every bed is occupied at some point, according to Willis, and there is a waiting list for those who are not accommodated to seek out local accommodations.
While beds may still be available in other Los Angeles shelters through the county’s coordinated immigration system, the ability to remove 100 people from the Santa Monica shelters makes it easier to temporarily accommodate people who live on local streets because they don’t To be persuaded to move must be a long distance.
The opportunity is great for those people associated with an apartment as well, as their placements are permanent as long as they remain in good standing with their landlord. Individuals who use the coupons are responsible for paying 30 percent of their adjusted income towards the rent, and if their current income is low they don’t have to pay anything to begin with.
While program participants have to come out of the shelters in Santa Monica, the city is looking across Los Angeles for suitable affordable housing to move into.
While funding is already in place, moving 100 people to permanent housing is not an easy task and the city is seeking help from community members to make the program a success.
Willis said individuals can volunteer in three ways: by phone banking to find potential landlords, by donating housewares to the new units, and by helping move donated items and furniture to the identified units.
“A lot of these people come out of the shelters with literally their clothes on their backs, with no sheets and no sheets and no cleaning supplies and shower curtains, pots and pans and dishes,” Willis said. “If the church can put its arms around people and give them these things and then help them move in and furnish these apartments, people can move into what is a home.”
Residents interested in helping with the program can sign up for it by completing a volunteer survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/100homes.