In July 2019, the County was awarded a $1,000,000 Community Services Infrastructure Grant (CSIG) through the California Health Facilities Financing Authority to develop the Diversionary Housing Project (Project). The Project is intended to meet the Board's Strategic Plan goals of "Safe Communities" and "Thriving Residents" by providing additional housing and expanding access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment services to individuals with a mental health and/or substance use condition who are experiencing homelessness or who have a recent history of homelessness, and who are involved in the criminal justice system.
Operation of the Project will be similar to the operation of the Intergovernmental Transfer House on Buckeye Street in Woodland which provides shelter to justice-involved clients requiring services focused on behavioral and basic health needs. Probation is responsible for Project implementation and will supervise the clients. Yolo County Housing will rehabilitate and furnish the properties, conduct community outreach efforts and provide ongoing property management services. The Health & Human Services Agency (HHSA) will facilitate on-site treatment services related to the Project.
Referrals to this program may come from any agency or person in contact with individuals living homeless, including homeless service providers, Probation, hospitals, local law enforcement agencies, defense counsel, and the public. Consideration of potential candidates and ultimate acceptance into the program will be a collaborative determination made between the District Attorney, Probation, Public Defender, and the HHSA. In making that determination, all parties understand that for a client to be successful in the program, they must be able to demonstrate a commitment to their recovery. Clients in this program will already live in the community and participate in Mental Health or Addiction Intervention specialty courts. Ultimately, to successfully complete the program, which typically takes 6-12 months of support to promote their self-sufficiency, clients must become financially secure and have a stable residence to move on to.
Following a survey of clients and another of providers in 2019, housing and treatment needs, as well as diversion opportunities rose to the top, Woodland and West Sacramento were identified as having the greatest need for diversionary treatment housing. The plan for the Project is to purchase a property in each community. This action is related to the purchase of a house in the Woodland community.
On May 18, 2021, the Board of Supervisors granted authority to the County's real estate agent and the Chief Probation Officer to negotiate the purchase of a house in Woodland, California in support of the Diversionary Housing Project. With further assistance from Yolo County Housing, the property at 1509 Coloma Way in Woodland was identified as meeting the needs of the Project, including the ability to house five clients at any given time as well as proximity to public transportation and services. An offer of $500,000 plus the cost to payoff the loan related to the property's solar system ($54,000) was made and accepted on July 16, 2021.
Since this time, the County has complied with published notice requirements of Government Code section 25350 - Notice of intention to purchase real property; dollar limits or amounts (Attachment E). Additionally, on September 15, the County and Yolo County Housing canvassed the neighborhood hand-delivering information about the project to 60 properties in the neighborhood (Attachment F). This information included a contact at Yolo County Housing for residents to call or e-mail with their questions or concerns. As of the writing of this staff report, few questions and concerns have been received from the neighborhood. The County also conducted site visits with City of Woodland leadership who are familiar with the success of the Buckeye House program and supportive of the DHP which will support Woodland residents.
Following inspections, rehabilitation of the property has been determined to be obtainable, covered by the grant, and achieved on a timeline that will allow for the house to be operational before the end of the grant period (June 30, 2022). Also of note; this property benefits from significant energy improvements beyond the solar panels, which include a whole house fan and double-paned windows, all of which will considerably reduce ongoing utility costs borne by the Community Corrections Partnership and which support the Board of Supervisors "Sustainable Environment" Strategic Plan goal.
|Collaborations on the Diversionary Housing Project include County Counsel, County Administrator's Office, Department of Financial Services, District Attorney's Office, Public Defender's Officer, Health & Human Services Agency and Yolo County Housing. The Woodland City Manager and Chief of Police are in support of the Project.