One thing the COVID-19 response has taught us is that when we all come together and treat homelessness as the urgent crisis it is, we can move more people off the streets quickly and efficiently.
We are grateful for our partnerships with local governments and other service providers, including: The County of Alameda, the City of Berkeley, and Abode Services.
All of our COVID-specific programming has been focused on getting the most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness off the streets – those who are 65+ years of age and/or with high-risk medical conditions – as well as their partners and children.
The Berkeley Respite Program has been active since June, 2020. It is a partnership with the City of Berkeley to oversee and maintain 18 RV trailers and one 4 bedroom shared house.
BFHP provides case management, housing navigation and placement, and operational services including daily wellness checks, meals, laundry services, and hygiene and cleaning supplies.
BFHP will continue to manage this program through the end of 2021, and we are currently working with the City of Berkeley to build-out a Rapid Re-housing program to continue assisting this population into next year.
Project Safer Ground, in operation since July, 2020, started as a partnership with Alameda County to utilize hotel rooms in the City of Berkeley to allow people experiencing homelessness to safely shelter in place. Rooms are available to people in Berkeley, Emeryville and Albany, who were previously living outside or in vehicles. As of April 2021, we have housed 50 households from this program.
Since the start of 2021, we have partnered with Alameda County Care Connect and Abode Services to build a complimentary program that will transition clients through Abode Rapid Re-housing units and on into permanent housing with support service.
Roads Home Hotel Rooms
In partnership with Veterans Affairs, we have been working to get vulnerable veterans and their families off the streets since the start of the pandemic. As of April 2021 we have been able to place 425 veteran households into the safety of hotel rooms across all six counties we serve. Many households have already been placed into permanent or transitional housing, and the majority of clients still in hotels have a plan to achieve housing within 45 days, including the utilization of HUD/VA Supportive Housing vouchers.
As the pandemic slows down we will be gradually scaling down this hotel stay program by focusing on other temporary housing options whenever possible.