Community Support Network of Nevada County hosts HOME Team | TheUnion.com

Community Support Network of Nevada County hosts HOME Team

Nevada County’s homeless population has seen an 11% increase over the past year, which is just under par of the state’s 13% average.

These numbers, along with an update on the county’s efforts to combat homelessness, were part of an hour-long presentation Wednesday afternoon given by Nevada County Housing Resource Manager Brendan Phillips and members of the Homeless Outreach and Medical Engagement (HOME) Team during a meeting of the Community Support Network of Nevada County at the Madelyn Helling Library.

“We’re seeing more college-aged people living out of their cars,” Phillips said.

Four hundred and ten individuals experiencing homelessness were counted during the January point in time count; 80% lived in Nevada County for more than one year prior to experiencing homelessness; 59% are originally from Nevada County; 39% are living unsheltered; 21% have a serious mental illness; and 35% are veterans experiencing homelessness.

The crowd consisted of a dozen community stake holders and representatives from organizations such as Friendship Club, Project Heart, Alta California Regional Center, WarmLine Family Resource Center, Sierra Roots, Community Beyond Violence, Granite Wellness Center and FREED.

Issues regarding the rising cost of housing rentals, the lack of affordable housing, as well as the challenges the county has faced regarding the building of the Brunswick Commons, were addressed.

The Brunswick Commons — an affordable/transitional housing complex and homeless resource center — suffered some setbacks after the project came up $54,000 short in funding. “TCAC (The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee) kicked our application out because they determined that $54,000 in the development side should have been in the operation side,” Nevada County Director of Housing and Child Support Services Mike Dent said.

“One department of the state gave us the money, the other department said we shouldn’t be using it for that,” he added.

Dent says moving forward the county is ready for a March resubmittal deadline.

“The fix is really simple,” Dent said. “Go back, move the $54,000 over, and then we would technically be ready to resubmit.”

Meanwhile, Nevada County continues to grapple with mounting homelessness issues and requests from organizations such as Sierra Roots that want to designate a camping area where the homeless can legally stay.

“We can level a hill and make a tent camp, but that still doesn’t give them some place to go,” Dent said during the meeting. The Community Support Network of Nevada County’s mission is to facilitate collaboration among public and private family support organizations so that Nevada County children, youth and families thrive. Its vision is that all families in Nevada County have ready access to a well-integrated and coordinated support network that is easily available and well-funded. To learn more about the Community Support Network visit http://www.csnnc.org or call 530-913-0270.

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez email, efunez@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.


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