Nearly $1 Billion in Grants For Homeless Housing Behavioral Health Needs

  • Grants will address housing instability and homelessness among people with serious behavioral health conditions.

  • Funding will support an array of housing options including tiny homes, rental assistance programs and assisted living settings.

  • Announcement highlights the billions the state is making available to local governments to serve Californians – helping to move individuals from homelessness to housing, including through the CARE Act which starts this year.

SACRAMENTO — Today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the availability of $907 million in grant funding to address the immediate housing and treatment needs of people experiencing homelessness and serious behavioral health conditions, including mental illness and substance use disorders.

Why it’s important: Homelessness and untreated behavioral health conditions are two major challenges facing California and access to immediate and stable housing for those facing both challenges is vital to tackle these crises. Under Governor Newsom, California is providing unprecedented resources to aid some of the state’s most vulnerable residents, helping people with serious mental illness and substance use disorders move off the streets and into housing and treatment.  Today’s announcement spotlights some of the billions in state investments available to local governments to serve Californians across the continuum of behavioral health care and housing – including through the CARE Act starting this year in eight counties and statewide next year.

What Governor Newsom said: “Along with treatment and supportive services, access to a safe and reliable place to live is a basic necessity. My Administration continues to work tirelessly to ensure that more Californians have the support they need to get out of and stay out of homelessness. Through these new grants, we’ll be housing and helping our most vulnerable individuals who suffer with serious behavioral health conditions on streets and sidewalks across the state.”

The Behavioral Health Bridge Housing (BHBH) program, under the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), will provide support through various “bridge” housing settings, including tiny homes, interim housing, rental assistance models, and assisted living settings. The housing will also provide supportive services to further assist program participants in remaining housed.

“Accessing behavioral health services and maintaining a connection to treatment while unsheltered poses significant challenges,” said California Health & Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “This flexible program will allow for the creation of new, deeply supportive housing settings that will help Californians who are struggling the most to find safety, stability, and a path to longer term housing stability and recovery.”

All bridge housing settings must include voluntary supportive services to help program participants obtain and maintain housing, manage symptoms of serious behavioral health conditions, and support recovery and wellness.

“Bridge housing is a vital link for people who are experiencing both homelessness and serious behavioral health conditions,” said DHCS Director Michelle Baass. “Housing and treatment are necessary first steps on a journey toward sustained recovery and stability.”

For the BHBH program, bridge housing is defined as short- and mid-term residential options and serves as a bridge to longer-term housing. The Request for Application requires that a minimum of 75 percent of funding be expended for bridge housing. The remaining 25 percent can be expended on flexible funding categories of BHBH program administration, outreach, and engagement and bridge housing start-up infrastructure.

To learn more about the BHBH program and to access the application, click here.

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