City of Alameda Homeless Initiatives
Planning—the Alameda Housing Authority and the City of Alameda’s Social Service Human Relations Board authored the Alameda Homelessness Report, which was approved by the City Council in March 2018. The report examines the state of homelessness in Alameda, identifies gaps in services, explores best practices and evidence-based programs tested in other areas, and provides recommendations for what might be possible to implement in the City.
Homeless Outreach Team (HOT)—a multi-disciplinary, cross-sectoral coalition of agencies started meeting to develop a collective impact approach to address homelessness in Alameda. Team members include representatives from City departments, County Board of Supervisor, faith-based community, first responders, law enforcement, main street businesses, and nonprofit organizations. A sub-committee of HOT is the Coordinated Outreach Team (COT), comprised of the Alameda Police, Building Futures, City of Alameda Community Development Department, and Operation Dignity that will meet on a regular basis for case conferencing and coordinating of efforts to individual homeless clients.
Mobile Outreach—the City of Alameda is funding a mobile outreach and mobile case management program through a contract with Operation Dignity (OD). Operation Dignity was instrumental in managing the closing of encampments at the Jane Sweeney Park. Staff goes to encampments, parks, streets, or wherever homeless people are and provides basic necessities (food, water, hygiene kits, raingear, etc.) to keep them safe and healthy as possible while working on stabilizing their situation by helping them apply for IDs, complete applications for housing and public services, and get them connected to resources that will lead to a path towards self-sufficiency.
Augmented Intensive Case Management—Building Futures for Women and Children (BFWC) contracts with the County of Alameda to serve the City of Alameda as the Coordinated Entry System (CES) for the homeless. BFWS is contracted to conduct assessments, enroll clients in CES, and provide intensive case management to 12 Alameda homeless clients. In March 2018, the Alameda City Council approved the allocation of $25,000 to increases BFWC’s ability to extend intensive case management services through the CES, essentially doubling the caseload and allowing BFWC to serve those that may not rise up to the top of the priority list for CES.
Parking Meters—as part of the recommendation in the Alameda Homelessness Report, up to 20 distinctively marked parking meters will be placed in strategic locations to collect funds towards homeless programs. In addition to donated funds collected through the meters, local businesses may sponsor the meters as a source of additional revenue so that Building Futures, as directed by the City Council, can receive the funds and continue expanding its intensive case management services to more homeless individuals. Case management is a critical element in linking homeless individuals to services with the aim of eventually getting them off the streets and into permanent housing.
Website—building a website of homeless resources is another recommendation in the Alameda Homelessness Report. The Alameda City Council approved $15,000 to go towards the project, which will provide a clearinghouse for homeless persons, members of the public, service providers, and other concerned citizens to find supportive services to help Alameda’s homeless population.