California Launches Homeless Encampment Grant Program for Local Governments

Today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council (HCFC) has released the application for $50 million in funding for the Encampment Resolution Grant Program. The funds will be available on a competitive basis to local governments that commit to addressing specific, persistent encampments by using these resources to provide pathways to permanent housing for individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness.

The program was created as part of the 2021-22 State Budget and provides targeted grants to fund selected proposals submitted by eligible cities, counties, and continuums of care (CoCs).

HCFC designed the program to fund projects statewide that:

  • Prioritize the most unsafe and/or persistent encampments around the state
  • Provide services for people in those encampments to address the immediate crisis of unsheltered homelessness and provide a path to permanent housing
  • Support the sustainable restoration of public spaces to their intended uses while safeguarding the needs of unhoused people seeking shelter

Applications for the competitive grants are due on December 31, and HCFC intends to announce awards for the first projects in the spring. Eligible local entities are encouraged to submit concepts for innovative, efficient service delivery models to assist person experiencing unsheltered homelessness in encampments, including proposals for new partnership opportunities with the state and with philanthropic organizations.

In addition to the new grant program, HCFC is working to spur innovative approaches to encampments with a special cohort of the Governor’s 100-Day Challenge focused on serving persons experiencing unsheltered homelessness. Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Merced, Fresno, and San Bernardino counties have come together to participate in this challenge, which begins November 10 with a project design session.

During the 100-Day Challenge, local homelessness response system entities are encouraged to work together to set audacious goals, streamline systems, and find innovative ways to assist persons experiencing homelessness. Communities are supported in the challenge by coaches from the Rapid Results Institute, which provides intensive technical support and guidance.

Beginning January 1, 2022, HCFC will become the California Interagency Council on Homelessness (Cal-ICH) and will be cochaired by Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency (BCSH) Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramirez and California Health and Human Services Agency (CalHHS) Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. Cal-ICH and its staff will continue to be housed administratively under BCSH.

Additional information from the Governor’s Office is available here.