The holiday season presents an opportunity to reflect both upon 2023 coming to an end as well as the opportunities on the horizon. Today, we’re excited to give you a glimpse of our plans for the work ahead.
Over the past 12 months, we’ve taken several important steps to advance the key strategies and goals of the 2020-2025 Community Plan to End Homelessness.
- We provided early seed funding for 5 new affordable housing developments that will provide 425 homes for formerly homeless and extremely low-income families and led a successful San Jose advocacy campaign to preserve tens-of-millions of dollars in affordable housing funding in the City of San Jose budget.
- We helped another 1,000 at-risk families remain stably housed through the Homelessness Prevention System.
- We’ve been providing $1000/month in no-strings income to 150 homeless and unstably housed families through the Silicon Valley Guaranteed Income Project.
Yet, we know there is much more work to do – and we remain committed to supporting a strategic and comprehensive approach to ending and preventing homelessness in Santa Clara County. So, in 2024, we will be focusing our efforts – and deploying roughly $40 million in private and philanthropic funding – into three key areas:
Building More Deeply Affordable Housing
We know that affordable housing is the key to ending homelessness, and we will continue making early investments in developments with Extremely Low Income and Supportive Housing to support at least 500 new units as well as funding approximately $5 Million in capacity-building grants to help local jurisdictions & non-profit partners to scale progress.
In addition, we will be launching a few new initiatives to support deeply affordable housing production in our community:
- To help meet the growing demand for high-quality property management services and resident-centered services at affordable housing developments, we will provide funding to assist mission-aligned organizations expand their property management capacity; and
- With the rising cost of living creating huge challenges for residents living on fixed incomes, we’ll pilot a shallow rental-subsidy program at senior housing developments to help reduce severe rent burden and prevent seniors with extremely low incomes from being pushed onto the streets.
Direct Financial Assistance to Homeless / At-Risk Residents
Research has proven that direct financial assistance can prevent homelessness. So, in addition to continued investments in expanding our countywide homelessness prevention strategies, we will explore additional ways to get assistance directly in the hands of residents who need it the most:
- National studies continually show the promise of guaranteed income (GI) and that people make good choices for their families, which is why we, in partnership with the County of Santa Clara, are expanding our GI work to support over 1,000 people and reach other key demographics disproportionately at-risk for homelessness, like people exiting the criminal justice system; and
- Because we must take steps to interrupt intergenerational cycles of homelessness, we will explore a pilot ‘baby bonds’ program to provide financial resources to children who are born into homelessness in our community.
Building a More Equitable System
Finally, since we know that the work to end homelessness in our community must advance equity, we will invest significant resources in several related initiatives in the year ahead:
- To ensure more people with lived experience are able to lead and inform efforts to end homelessness, we are launching a new Lived Experience Leadership Cohort and will co-host a West Coast lived experience conference with the National Coalition for the Homeless.
- To improve transparency and empower unhoused individuals with direct access to their case management information, we will officially launch a first-in-the-nation, client-facing portal for our Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).
- And in response to a deeply concerning shift in policy debates across the country, we will explore strategies to address emerging proposals that seek to criminalize homelessness and make it harder for our unhoused neighbors to simply exist in our community.
Homelessness continues to be fueled by strong systemic forces. But through these initiatives and the continued efforts of our broad coalition of partners, we can continue to advance our collective Community Plan strategies and take meaningful steps to ending homelessness in Silicon Valley.
We look forward to continuing to work together to ensure every member of our community has a safe, stable and affordable place to live.
Year-End Giving Opportunity
Help Support a Family Moving into Their New Home!
Over the next year, more than 3,000 families will move out of homelessness and into homes of their own. Move-in kits with basic household items – including bedding, cleaning supplies, toiletries, and kitchen starter sets – provide them with a warm welcome and ensure they successfully settle into their new homes with dignity and all the essentials.
Click below to join us in supporting families as they end their homelessness.