The City of Vallejo, along with other cities in Solano County, has recently adopted a collective and collaborative approach in addressing the problem of homelessness. This initiative is being carried out by the Community Action Partnership of Solano, Joint Powers Authority (CAP Solano JPA
), a collaboration of local government agencies consisting of representatives from each of the county’s seven cities (Benicia, Dixon, Fairfield, Rio Vista, Suisun, Vacaville, and Vallejo) and the County of Solano itself. Anne Putney, Vallejo’s Housing and Community Development Manager, serves as the City’s representative and is also the Secretary of the JPA Board. “The County and City Managers agreed that a countywide, coordinated effort to address homelessness would be much more effective than the piecemeal efforts each city has been making, and that it might put us in a better position to get additional funding.” CAP Solano JPA, which coordinates efforts across the county to reduce poverty and homelessness, has commissioned HomeBase to present a 5-Year Regional Strategic Plan by the end of 2016. HomeBase is a non-profit organization dedicated to the social problem of homelessness and has extensive experience working in and with the County as well as in other Bay Area Counties. According to Anne, “Each city/county is paying for the report/analysis based on the percentage of the homeless population, per the last point-in-time count and the City’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds are paying for Vallejo’s – it was about $10,000.” Working closely alongside HomeBase is Housing First Solano Continuum of Care (CoC
), the regional planning body of representative stakeholders in Solano County that coordinates the community's policies, strategies, and activities toward preventing and ending homelessness.
The basis for the draft will be from input received from a diverse and representative group of community members, providers, advocates, community leaders and including people experiencing homelessness through various community engagement efforts. Consumer focus groups, community meetings, and key issue summits will be held in the coming weeks and months to continuously identify priorities and opportunities in the current systems of care. A work group, composed of representatives from each of the seven cities, the County, and various service sectors including law enforcement, Veterans Affairs, children and youth, and affordable housing development, has also been formed to identify plan priorities and provide HomeBase with evaluations on homeless programs and shelters. Plan priorities identified so far, can be reviewed here
. HomeBase will compile, review and analyze all data and will finalize and present the 5-Year Regional Strategic Plan to the CAP Solano JPA and CoC Boards for approval by the end of the year. The plan, with identified next steps, will also be presented to jurisdictions and other entities for approval and agreement.
The public is encouraged to actively participate in this process. Visit their website here
to find out more about this exciting initiative.