All individuals and families facing homelessness in Nevada County will have access to safe, permanent, affordable housing, supported by the resources and services necessary to sustain them.
Building Bridges: Plan to Address Homelessness
On January 9th, 2018, Nevada County Health and Human Services Agency Director Michael Heggarty and Housing Resources Manager Brendan Phillips presented a plan to address homelessness in Nevada County, including short and long term agency goals in the areas of coordinating services, housing, and a homeless services day center.
In line with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Nevada County Health and Human Services Agency is committed to a “Housing First” approach to homelessness. “Housing First” is an evidence-based policy approach to connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness to permanent housing, which has been proven to be highly effective for ending homelessness, particularly for people experiencing chronic homelessness with higher service needs. While participation in services or treatment are not a condition of permanent housing entry in the “Housing First” model, supportive services should be made available to maximize housing stability and outcomes.
The Nevada County Board of Supervisors identified addressing homelessness as one of its top 2017 Board Objectives. According to the 2017 Point in Time (PIT) count results, 371 individuals were experiencing homelessness. This count, using criteria determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is a mere snapshot of the homeless situation in Nevada County. In July 2017, Nevada County hired Brendan Phillips to fill the newly created Housing Resource Manager position within the Health and Human Services Agency, tasked with coordinating all County housing related services and serving as a single point of contact to the many community based organizations that provide homeless services.
Nevada County’s collaboration with other jurisdictions and community stakeholders is essential to the success of the Housing First model; undoubtedly, we are “Better Together”. The “Better Together” site intends to keep the community informed of our constantly growing and evolving partnerships, as well as ongoing projects and events aimed at ending homelessness.