Yolo County – Bridge to Housing Program
Yolo County, the City of West Sacramento, and Yolo County Housing collaborated on a pilot project in 2014 to relocate an entire homeless encampment on a West Sacramento riverbank. The project relocated the encampment to a single motel where participants were offered temporary housing, case management and services.
Spearheaded by the West Sacramento Police Department, the pilot project featured a highly collaborative and comprehensive planning process with multiple stakeholders involved. The planning group, made up of public, private and nonprofits entities, met over the course of two months to develop the best strategy for relocating the homelessness encampment. After the planning process, the pilot included three assessments to get a better understanding of the needs and challenges of the homeless population living in the encampment. In addition, coordinated outreach was conducted to build relationships with the population.
The program placed an emphasis on providing frequent and consistent on-site services. Through four months of temporary housing and intensive case management, participants were able to stabilize their lives, address health issues, and secure a housing voucher. Other services provided on-site were daily lunches, haircuts, mental health services, and harm reduction classes. Of 53 participants that completed the program, 42 of them remained engaged in services with case managers 12 months after exiting the program. Furthermore, 68 percent of participants were able to secure permanent housing.
The overall cost of the project was $152,238, $6,000 less than expected, and was funded primarily by the City of West Sacramento and County of Yolo (the rest of the cost was covered by donations).