$500K in funding for Nevada County homeless resource center secured | TheUnion.com

$500K in funding for Nevada County homeless resource center secured

John Orona
Staff Writer

Nevada County is one step closer to obtaining a homeless resource center thanks to nearly $500,000 in one-time funding from the Department of Health Care Services, part of its Whole Person Care Program.

The center — which is meant to serve as a central hub for services and support for community members experiencing homelessness, as well as a supportive housing complex — will get $445,868.49 in funding for its comprehensive approach to addressing a patient’s full spectrum of medical, behavioral, social and economic needs. Twenty million in funding was given statewide to similar programs integrating needs.

“This is a great opportunity for us to fund a navigation center,” Nevada County Supervisor Dan Miller said Tuesday.

According to county Health and Human Services Agency Director Ryan Gruver, the guaranteed funding will give the county flexibility as moves forward on the resource center project.

“The idea is that this is a very flexible source,” Gruver said. “So that when we do decide on an appropriate location, whether it’s a leased space that makes tenant improvements or it’s a ready-to-go space that needs start up costs and services, this is a flexible pot of funding that will allow us to hit the ground running when we do find an opportunity to jump into.”

The funds are flexible in the sense that they are not tied to a particular location or project, but also because the county can use the money in a variety of ways related the center.

“It could be for renovations if renovations are necessary. It could be used for the lease or down payment. It could go toward the start-up costs or operational support to run the program for a period of time,” Gruver said. “So it’s fairly flexible. Whatever it takes to get a resource center up and running.”

The county purchased a five-acre, $223,900 property on Old Tunnel Road for the center last year, but its attempt to fund construction through a community development block grant application was denied following the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s refocus to shovel-ready proposals. Now the county is continuing to look for ways to open a resource center in the short and long term.

According to Gruver, the plan for how the money will be put to use is still up for determination, and until a location for the center is decided upon — whether temporary or permanent — there is no way to determine a timeline or total cost estimation.

“The attractiveness of this is rather than try to find the perfect combination of site and funding, it can be used in a variety of ways,” Gruver said. “It allows us to be nimble.”

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email jorona@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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