California cities receive multi-million dollar prize to help tackle homelessness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KERO) – As California continues to battle homelessness and other housing issues, Governor Gavin Newsom has announced a new Homekey award totaling $694 million for housing and services in Los Angeles , according to a press release from the governor’s office. This award brings Homekey’s total funding this year to $3.75 billion.

The Homekey Project, launched in 2020, has already funded more than 200 projects across the state, providing housing and services to more than 12,500 Californians.

“With 12,500 new homes funded in just two years, Homekey is changing lives across the state,” Newsom said. “Homekey’s groundbreaking success is a model for the nation, showing that we can make real progress in ending homelessness in months, not years. In partnership with cities and counties like Los Angeles, we will continue to safely house Californians in need faster and more cost effectively than ever before.

Gavin Newsom’s Office

Newsom is helping put together welcome packages for people coming out of homelessness through California’s Homekey program. The program, which has already helped 12,500 Californians find housing, is celebrating its second anniversary.

Newsom, who celebrated the Homekey program’s two-year anniversary by helping assemble welcome kits as part of site move-in preparations, was joined by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Rep. Karen Bass (D- CA), Business, Lourdes Castro Ramírez, Secretary of the Housing and Consumer Services Agency (BCSH), and Gustavo Velasquez, Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development, announced the new award.

“Homekey is more than just another tool in our toolbox to end homelessness – it’s an opportunity for thousands of people to start afresh, and an injection of pride and dignity that can keep Angelenos off the streets for good,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “Thanks to this latest injection of funds, hundreds of people who are homeless today will be offered the stability of permanent housing, the security of a locked door and the services they need to get back on their feet. “

According to the press release, Homekey has become a model program for other states to learn how to quickly deploy emergency funds to organizations in their communities that help expand housing and other services for homeless residents.

“Homekey has been one of our most effective and catalytic affordable housing solutions. Thanks to the vision of Governor Newsom, in 24 months we have designed a national model from hotels to housing, mobilized technical assistance and mobilized historic housing resources,” said BCSH Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramirez. “This is an incredible example of good government responding with compassion. , speed and transformative solutions.

A note from Governor Newsom welcoming another California home.  The note reads, in part, "Congratulations on the next phase of your life.  The best is yet to come!"

Gavin Newsom’s Office

A note from Governor Newsom welcoming another California home.

In addition to the Homekey award, Newsom announced $47 million in Community Care Expansion housing grants specifically to create more residential care options for seniors and people with disabilities, including those at risk of become homeless or who are victims of it. This CCE grant is the first of its kind, to be administered by the California Department of Human Services to address gaps in behavioral health and long-term care services in the state.

Housing and Community Development Director Gustavo Velasquez spoke about the need to move from emergency programs like Homekey to permanent programs designed to create more affordable housing at all levels.

“HCD continues to implement systemic changes to address both the urgent need to house people and to advance our statewide housing plan goal for more affordable housing for residents in low income and homeless who are disproportionately people of color,” HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez said.

This Homekey award is shared among 19 California cities, including Fresno, which received four awards totaling $57.9 million. The money is intended to create 283 new homes in this city. Other cities receiving Homekey funds are San Luis Obispo, San Jose and Stockton.



Bernard P. Love