From The Morgan Hill Times:
Santa Clara County is the 100th community to join the federal initiative “House America,” which pairs local governments with federal funding to address homelessness with a “housing first” mentality.
Since its launch in September 2021, local jurisdictions across the country have pledged to use resources of the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress to provide more affordable housing and emergency vouchers to residents in need. Together, the cities, counties and regional territories participating in House America have 50% of the nation’s entire homeless population.
Though Los Angeles’ Skid Row is often marked the epicenter of the nation’s homeless crisis, Silicon Valley is another hotspot that needs to be addressed, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge said at a July 7 press conference.
No community has solved homelessness by banning it, or by sweeping and moving encampments from area to area, Fudge said. Santa Clara County joining this initiative indicates that they’re committed to adopting its “housing first” mindset.
“Solving homelessness means recognizing and confronting the injustices that have led people—especially Black, brown, Indigenous people, and other people of color—to the tragic circumstances that they find themselves in today,” Fudge said. “Solving homelessness requires focus and the investment of time and resources.”
Santa Clara County Housing Authority executive director Preston Prince also mentioned the county’s Heading Home campaign, which specifically targets meeting the needs of the 600 families experiencing homelessness. The goal is to have more housing placements than the number of families on the streets by 2025, termed “functional zero.”
“Our board’s forward thinking and commitment to addressing the housing needs of our community’s most vulnerable has preceded the campaign,” Prince said in reference to the recent addition of 1,000 emergency housing vouchers for families.
Read The Morgan Hill Times' article "County pledges ‘housing first’ mindset," featuring the Santa Clara County Housing Authority.