ENDING HOMELESSNESS IN SAN LEANDRO
What a difference a year makes.
Last year, the City of San Leandro launched the San Leandro Homelessness and Housing Task Force. The Task Force was formed to create a comprehensive plan for serving unsheltered San Leandrans.
One result was the San Leandro Warming Shelter. On nights when the temperature is forecast to be 40 degrees or colder or rain was predicted, the Warming Shelter is open. The San Leandro Warming Shelter is hosted by the First United Methodist Church and staffed by Building Futures. April Showers—which has hosted services for chronically homeless San Leandrans for 15 years—is our partner in the warming shelter. The Warming Shelter is also sustained by meals and donations provided by faith groups and community leaders.
We estimate there are 100 people living on San Leandro’s streets. We joined forces with Alameda County Housing and Community Development, resulting in an award of federal funds for permanent supportive housing vouchers for homeless, disabled San Leandro residents.
City of San Leandro staff helped Building Futures advocate for more funding from Alameda County Social Services. We then folded Street Outreach into our work to house unsheltered San Leandrans. The City of San Leandro Recreation and Human Services Department and SL Police Department has been great partners in this effort. “Building Futures is an essential partner in San Leandro,’ says San Leandro Recreation and Human Services Director Jeanette Dong. “They have the heart, soul and knowledge to realistically get people off the street and into shelter or housing. "
When San Leandro Mayor Pauline Cutter heard we were facing a challenge locating partner landlords to house our clients, Mayor Cutter linked Building Futures with the Rental Housing Association of Southern Alameda County (RHASAC).
Mayor Cutter and city staff worked hard to shape Northern California’s first Homeless Housing Compact. On March 16, Mayor Cutter hosted the co-signing of this historic document. Already, two clients have been linked with permanent housing and support services. At City Hall, Mayor Cutter and city council members heard from Johnnie Pullen, a formally homeless San Leandro resident receiving housing through this initiative.
“In the current rental market, cities awarded permanent housing vouchers like these face difficulty in locating landlords to accept them. Mayor Cutter and city staff closed the circle and made it possible for homeless San Leandrans like Johnnie to become housed,” say Liz Varela.
All who joined forces with Building Futures are helping to make this big leap forward possible
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