Working together to solve root causes & create the first affordable homes in one local city
A core component of our community’s strategy to solve homelessness is collective action. Entities big and small, from peoplewith lived experience, local leaders and jurisdictions, to private funders and government agencies all rowing in the same direction, guided by a shared mission.
Confronting an entrenched, societal failure such as homelessness requires we all get involved. In Santa Clara County, this looks like partners across sectors accepting a shared responsibility to end and prevent homelessness, bringing whatever power they hold to advance the meaningful evidence-based solutions detailed in our Community Plan.
This is what the City of Los Altos and Stanford Health Care have in common. To help illustrate this collaborative work further, we’re featuring these partners and how they’re working behind the scenes to advance really important work that is helping our community slow the growth of the crisis and reduce experiences of homelessness.
First 100% Affordable Housing Project Underway in Los Altos
A piece of land in Los Altos, first conceptualized as a park, is transforming into some of the most desperately-needed housing, thanks to collaboration among the City of Los Altos, County of Santa Clara and Destination: Home.
As Councilwoman Neysa Fligor shared with us, the city didn’t really know where to start when considering housing at the site, but Santa Clara County leadership drew their attention to the Measure A housing bond as a key resource to tap. Thanks to these funds, the city is building housing that directly addresses homelessness – units affordable to lowest-income households most at-risk of homelessness, along with on-site services available to those who need them.
The type of housing included at 330 Distel Circle – at the lowest affordability levels – is the hardest to build. So to help move the development from concept to reality, Destination: Home provided a grant to nonprofit developer EAH Housing. (This is just one of the many ways we invest private money to create critical housing.)
City of Los Altos staff, including Development Services Director Nick Zornes, shepherded the project with grace and urgency, championing the core values of the project through community engagement. Housing Ready Communities advocates and key leaders in the community also helped create this housing, by voicing their support for the project.
Together, this is how we solve homelessness. We can’t wait to celebrate when folks are moving into the beautiful new community asset being developed at 330 Distel Circle, and are grateful to the many partners who’ve contributed resources and political will to make this vital housing possible.
Housing IS Health Care
Health care providers witness the most dire symptoms of living without a home, but aren’t directly able to treat the root causes of homelessness. Inspired by the fact that housing is a foundational element of wellness, Stanford Health Care has been quietly funding our community’s evidence-based strategies to end and prevent homelessness for the last five years.
It is more cost effective to provide and help people maintain stable, supportive housing than treat the symptoms of homelessness through public services. From prevention to housing production, Stanford Health Care is contributing to several of our initiatives that are ending and preventing thousands of experiences of homelessness.
Stanford Health Care is embodying the collective mindset needed to advance our community’s solutions to homelessness, and demonstrating the powerful role philanthropy can play.