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    Gov. Schwarzenegger Comes To LB To Announce "Initiative To End Long-Term Homelessness"; Apparently Includes Building Combined Homeless Housing/Social Service Projects

    (Sept. 1, 2005) -- CA Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger chose Long Beach as the place to announce a high-visibility "initiative to end long-term homelessness in California by providing integrated permanent housing and services to long-term homeless people in partnership with local governments and the private sector."

    The plan apparently involves building combined homeless housing/social service locations presently unspecified and with densities undiscussed.

    The Governor's office announced the plan at an August 31 media event at WLB's Cabrillo Villages Housing project attended by members of the Governor's administration, LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill, L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe and Bob Hertzberg, Ex-Speaker of the State Assembly (SFV Democrat).Schwarzenegger Homeland Initiative, Aug. 31/05
    Source: CA Governor's office

    To strong applause, Governor Schwarzenegger called Mayor O'Neill "a terrific leader and a big believer in the homeless issue." He said his administration is committing $50 million "to build permanent housing units where residents have an affordable place to live. This housing will also provide access to the health, employment and other support services they need to transition off the street."

    The Governor continued, "We will start by building 500 supportive housing units across our state. And then we will continue this program and expand it because this initiative gives us a chance to get additional federal funding which is so important to this homelessness."

    Governor website Homeless Aug. 31/05
    The Governor's office has given the plan banner-headline treatment at the top of his state office website.

    [Website headline photo visible Sept. 1/05, left]

    The Governor's office released the following information:


    Up to $40 million in Proposition 46 funds to leverage private sector resources to produce 400 to 500 new supportive housing units.

    Funding provided under Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act to be used for services and support of ongoing operations at housing communities.

    $10 million from the California Housing Financing Agency from its Housing Assistance Trust to provide liquidity to community based lending organizations developing housing for the long-term homeless. This will be used for purchasing loans, thereby freeing up capital for greater leveraging for new units.

    $750,000 in Proposition 63 dollars allocated to the Department of Housing and Community Development to be used for predevelopment costs such as permitting, engineering costs, site development and environmental reports.

    $125,000 in State General Fund dollars to fund an inter-agency council comprised of: state and federal agencies and departments; local social service, health, law enforcement and other local agencies; local elected officials; non-governmental providers of services to the homeless; homeless advocates; and the philanthropic community, to coordinate efforts to combat long-term homelessness and maximize the use of resources.


    Leverage Proposition 46 funds, in conjunction with tax credits and locality funds, to build approximately 400 to 500 new units of permanent housing.

    Support the cost of ongoing services through Proposition 63 funding to ensure these tenants receive the services they require to keep them off the street. Coordinate federal, state, local, non-profit and private sector efforts to combat homelessness.

    "Our new initiative will combine the efforts of state agencies, local government, non-profits and the private sector to help those who need our help the most, the people who remain homeless for years," continued Governor Schwarzenegger. "It is a proven approach to help the long-term homeless start a new life and say goodbye to the streets forever. Working together, with the right plan and strong leadership we can build a California where everyone has a place they can call home."

    Among those taking part in the event was the Conrad Hilton Foundation, which the Governor's office called "a leader in partnering with the public and private sectors to leverage funding for permanent supportive housing in Los Angeles County. The Foundation has recently committed $8 million to help community groups develop new permanent supportive housing units for homeless people with mental illness and to facilitate funding coordination among city and county agencies."

    Conrad N. Hilton Foundation VP Judy Miller said that in L.A. County, "34% of our homeless people are mentally ill, and housing coupled with services is proven to be the most compassionate and cost-effective solution." Funding provided by the Foundation will be administered through the Corporation for Supportive Housing, an Oakland-based national organization that promotes supportive housing for the homeless, the Governor's office said..

    "Building on this initiative, and with the growing leadership of local officials, foundations and other businesses, together we can transform the Golden State so that it no longer harbors the nation's largest population of chronically homeless people but instead leads the nation's efforts to provide them with the opportunity to participate fully in our society," said Corporation for Supportive Housing President and CEO Carla I. Javits in the Governor's office release.

    The release said the Governor's "Initiative to End Long-Term Homelessness" also creates: inter-agency council comprised of public, private and non-profit entities committed to: ending long-term homelessness, ensuring coordination of efforts, and maximizing the use of resources. This council will bring together state and federal agencies and departments, local social service, health, law enforcement and other local agencies, local elected officials, non-governmental providers of services to the homeless, homeless advocates and the philanthropic community to build and operate housing that is accompanied by services for residents. The State will have representatives of the Housing and Community Development Department, Housing Finance Agency and the Mental Health Services Department on the council and will provide a one-stop review process to fund local supportive housing proposals.

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