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California awards $7.2 million to help homeless in Stanislaus County

Jorge Corona prepares to move out of a homeless camp of about 50 to 75 people living under the Golden State Blvd overpass in southwest Turlock. Calif. on Thursday November 15, 2018.
Jorge Corona prepares to move out of a homeless camp of about 50 to 75 people living under the Golden State Blvd overpass in southwest Turlock. Calif. on Thursday November 15, 2018. jlee@modbee.com

California announced Thursday that it has awarded $7.2 million for homeless services — including for youth, shelters and helping people get into housing — in Stanislaus County.

The award is part of the $500 million in one-time money the state set aside last summer through its Homeless Emergency Aid Program to help communities deal with the homelessness crisis.

The state allocated $150 million for its 11 biggest cities and $350 million for what are called continuums of care. There are 43 of these in the state, and they are made up of local governments, service providers and others who help the homeless.

The local continuum of care is called the Stanislaus Community System of Care. The community system of care expected to be awarded funding after applying for it last month.

But Thursday’s announcement still was good news, said Francine DiCiano, president-CEO of United Way of Stanislaus County and co-chairwoman of the system of care.

In its grant application, the system of care outlined these areas in how the money will be spent:

$5 million for capital improvements, which can include shelters, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing as well as improvements to existing facilities, according to information from HomeBase, a consulting firm working with the Stanislaus Community System of Care

$1 million for homeless youth services

$875,137 for rental assistance or subsidies to help people get into or stay in housing

The system of care allocated $361,849 for administrative costs, which is 5 percent of the $7,236,986 grant.

The grant is through the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency’s Homeless Coordination and Financing Council. The next step is for Stanislaus County to enter into a contract with the agency for the funding. The county’s Community Services Agency is the administrative entity for the grant.

A competitive process will be used to award the $7.2 million among projects, and the Stanislaus Community System of Care will make the funding decisions, said county Deputy Executive Officer Ruben Imperial.

The county and eight of its nine cities can apply for funding because their elected governing bodies declared what are called emergency shelter crises in December. The Ceres City Council did not declare a crisis, and Ceres cannot apply for funding.

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Kevin Valine covers local government, homelessness and general assignment for The Modesto Bee. He is a graduate of San Jose State University and grew up in San Jose.

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