WOODLAND AWARDED $15.8 MILLION IN CALIFORNIA HOMEKEY FUNDING
Woodland was awarded $15.8 million to support the completion of the city’s East Beamer Way campus phase two projects including 60 locally manufactured permanent supportive housing units.
The money was part of California’s Homekey program that has awarded $514 million for over 1,800 units across 26 projects as part of the expanded $2.75 billion Homekey program, which is one of the state’s biggest projects to address homelessness.
Although the award will help tremendously, Woodland Communications Manager Spencer Bowen noted that it will not pay for the entire buildout of the campus.
“I think the best way to think about it is that this money will cover a large portion of ‘phase two,’ particularly the permanent supportive housing units manufacturing and installation,” Bowen clarified. “It will also assist with the community center construction and future service provision.”
The campus will provide temporary and permanent housing for 170 people and substance abuse treatment capacity for 60 people once fully built. There are three total phases the first of which was constructing an emergency shelter that opened in January 2021.
This facility offers temporary laundry, restrooms, showers and food. Completion of this phase will include a community center, permanent restrooms, a permanent kitchen and six individual units.
Phase two, as noted by Bowen, is the construction of the campus’ permanent supportive housing component — now under construction — that partners anticipate will begin accepting people in summer 2022.
City officials and local stakeholders were invited and shown developments that construction crews had made in starting phase two and were shown example supportive housing units that had a bedroom, bathroom and a small kitchenette with several cabinets, a double bowl sink and space for an electric stove that will eventually be added to the unit.
Phase three — the last phase — will be the creation of a new “Walter’s House” substance abuse treatment center that is anticipated to be fully operational by summer 2023. However, Friends of the Mission — a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing for those in need — is still seeking California state project funding for it.
City Manager Ken Hiatt emphasized the importance of transformative projects like this that are only possible through partnerships between a committed group of private, nonprofit and government funders.
“Woodland is committed to evidence-based solutions and we know that permanent supportive housing leads to better outcomes for the most vulnerable unhouse individuals,” Hiatt stressed.
Scott Thurmond, executive director for Friends of the Mission, noted the importance of the project in addressing the homelessness issue not only to Woodland but also to the rest of the state.
“This project will provide a model for the continuum of services for people in need of help and housing,” Thurmond said. “Emergency housing, permanent supportive housing and substance abuse treatment will be available to those in need of help.”