Bakersfield Now: Senators Padilla and Butler secure $601.4M to help address CA’s homelessness crisis

By Mary Paronyan

U.S. Senators Alex Padilla and Laphonza Butler announced $601.4 million in federal funding to help address homelessness in California.

The funding comes as part of the nearly $3.16 billion investment from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Continuum of Care program, and will support hundreds of California housing authorities, nonprofit organizations, agencies, and local governments working to end homelessness.

Kern County will receive more than $7.31 million with recipients including:

  • El Programa Dulce Hogar Consolidated: $5,301,434
  • Alliance TH and PH-RRH Project: $505,569
  • Alliance Transitional Housing Project: 133,139
  • CAPK Coordinated Entry System: $236,838
  • Casa Nueva II Placement and Supportive Services: $94,358
  • Casa Nueva III Placement and Supportive Services Project: $288,219
  • CoC Planning Project Application: $442,534
  • HMVP Renewal Application: $136,468
  • KCMH-HMIS: $80,409
  • Project Home Renewal 2023: $94,263

Of the $7.31 million dollars, over $236,000 dollars is given to CAPK’s Coordinated Entry System program.

Louis Gill with CAPK said without these annual investments, the situation would be far worse

“There are literally hundreds and hundreds of households that will be stabilized and fall into homelessness because of this support, and that’s critical. So not only its what we need to do, but what we’re continuing to do right now,” Gill said.

Carlos Baldovinos with The Mission at Kern County said the numbers are still pending after the county hosted its annual Annual Point in Time Count to find out the reality of where this crisis stands and what the county needs.

“Probably affordable housing, we need to do a lot more of that. Also substance abuse is something that’s something we really have to own in on because if you see a lot of these folks that are out there on the streets they’re maybe suffering from a mental health episode or substance abuse,” said Baldovinos.

In a release, it said according to HUD’s 2023 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report to Congress, about 181,399 people experienced homelessness in California on a single night last year, including 123,423 people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. The release said this amounts to 28% of the total number of people experiencing homelessness in the United States and 49% of the population experiencing unsheltered homelessness.

“As we continue our statewide count of people experiencing homelessness, one thing remains clear: we need significantly more federal investment to address this humanitarian crisis,” said Senator Padilla. “This funding will support service providers at the forefront of developing community-driven solutions to reduce homelessness. We know we have more work to do, and I will not stop fighting to bring home more resources and pass comprehensive legislation that ensures every person has a place to call home.”

“Thanks to the tireless work of President Biden and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, California will receive $600 million to help alleviate homelessness,” said Senator Butler. “This investment in our state is especially important to our youth experiencing homelessness, including unaccompanied and pregnant or parenting youth, who will now have more access to programs aimed at preventing homelessness.”

“Now, more than ever, we are doing all we can to get people off the street and into permanent homes with access to services. That is why we are making sure the service providers on the frontlines of this crisis have the resources they need,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “At HUD, we have served or permanently housed 1.2 million people experiencing homelessness in the last three years alone, building on President Biden’s efforts to keep Americans housed. The historic awards we are announcing today will expand community capacity to assist more people in obtaining the safety and stability of a home, along with the supports they need to achieve their life goals.”

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