Know your nonprofit: Nevada County Housing Development Corporation
Website: AMI Housing
Know Your Nonprofit is a weekly Q&A feature with western Nevada County nonprofit organizations.
What is your mission statement?
The mission of the Nevada County Housing Development Corporation is to preserve and develop decent, affordable housing to address the needs of limited income individuals and families in Nevada County and to strengthen the community.
Briefly, when and how did your nonprofit start?
Formed in 1982, Nevada County Housing Development Corporation is a nonprofit organization which seeks to help meet the housing needs of low-income households in Grass Valley, Nevada City and unincorporated Nevada County.
The corporation facilitates the construction or rehabilitation of housing for low-income families, through purchase and/or construction of real property. The corporation’s first project, in partnership with the City of Grass Valley, was the construction of the first self-help homes for qualified families in Nevada County, Thirty homes were built with the recipients contributing 30 hours weekly toward the building of their self-help home.
The corporation bought and provided the first homeless family emergency shelter in Nevada County, (Manzanita Family Center) which was sold to the Salvation Army and is currently The Booth Family Center.
The corporation built and managed Courtyards at Penn Valley, the first affordable apartment complex in Nevada County. The corporation is currently the general managing partner for this 42-unit complex.
The corporation initiated the formation of the Emergency Assistance Coalition 30 years ago. They provide vouchers to meet the needs of qualified applicants for emergency shelter, food, gasoline and bus passes. Currently, these services are being provided by Connecting Point (211). The funding is a combination of state Cal-Works dollars and donations from participating churches.
211 Nevada County administers the fund, and receives calls daily from people in need. Social workers, hospital staff, law enforcement and other agencies also call on behalf of individuals needing resources. On the day of need, and when other resources aren’t available, a person may receive Emergency Assistance Coalition funds for a $7 food voucher or a bus pass.
A gas voucher may be granted for a specific purpose such as to get to an appointment or job interview. Under certain emergency situations, a one-night stay at Stagecoach Motel may be provided. Part of the screening process is to insure that callers who need ongoing services get connected with one or more agencies to receive help. The coalition requests are tracked by recipient’s name and a person may receive up to two coalition grants in a lifetime, unless special authorization is given.
In sum, for more than 35 years, the Nevada County Housing Development Corporation has collaborated with others and used a variety of public and private funding approaches to connect poor and low-income members of our community with housing — an essential social resource.
What are the primary sources of funding?
The corporation receives and administers funds from public and private sources, either by grant or by contract. These funds are then used to administer the programs of the corporation. The corporation accepts donations although they do not do direct fundraising.
How many employees does the organization have?
We have two employees, including an executive director and a part-time maintenance man.
Who is your primary audience, the people who benefit the most from your organization?
Nevada County homeless and those in need of low-income and supportive housing.
Supporting individuals who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness is not easy. The work is difficult and the time required to help people successfully transition is long. There are setbacks. The corporation offers the clients the time they need to transition. Experience has shown we will see a higher success rate when we help individuals transition into supportive housing over time.
Rapidly cycling residents through short-term housing, only to have them slide back into homelessness is not a long-term solution.
It is heart-breaking to hear from people with nowhere else to turn for basic needs, such as the brittle diabetic who desperately needs food or the family who lost their home in a fire and haven’t found a place to stay within the few days Red Cross provides temporary lodging.
On several occasions recently, a senior experiencing homelessness, accustomed to camping out, was discharged from the hospital a day after major surgery, and had nowhere to go but back to the campground. Clearly, what was needed most was a clean place with a bed and bathroom to rest during the day and night.
In 2007, the corporation became the lead agency for Nevada County’s Continuum of Care. The Continuum of Care consists of a coalition of county agencies, profit and nonprofit agencies, religious organizations and community members who are working to end homelessness in Nevada County. Nevada and Placer County became a combined Continuum of Care in 2011. Even though the organizations are combined, each county receives funding for their individual areas.
In 2009, the corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nevada County’s Behavioral Health Department to obtain and provide property management for permanent supportive housing. These homes are for chronically homeless individuals with mental illness. Currently, the corporation houses 41 people through this partnership. Since inception we have housed 68 people. Several have moved onto independent living.
What is your primary service area (specific city, countywide, the region?)
We primarily serve western Nevada County.
List the biggest achievements in your nonprofit’s history.
Building the first affordable apartment complex in Nevada County.
Providing Permanent Supportive Housing for qualified individuals.
List the biggest challenges you face.
Identifying and engaging landlords willing to rent to the low-income population.
Providing life skills for the individuals we do house so that they maintain their housing.
What is your primary goal for the next year?
Our Executive Director is retiring at the end of August, 2017. The corporation is merging with Advocates for Mentally Ill Housing. The two provide the same Property Management services; thus there will be no disruption in client services and the housing organization provides additional supportive services for the people currently housed by the corporation.
What is your primary goal for the next three to five years?
To continue serving some of our area’s most needy population by helping them obtain their basic need for housing. Your donations to the corporation or Advocates for Mentally Ill Housing can have an immediate and lasting impact on homelessness in our community.
How can someone become involved with your organization?
Confidentiality requirements prevent us from having volunteers but we do accept donations. However, donations for services in Nevada County may be set to: AMI Housing, P.O. Box 5216, Auburn, CA, 95604
United Way of Nevada County is a member of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership, which provides the weekly Know Your Nonprofit feature. You can learn more about The Center for Nonprofit Leadership online at http://CNLSierra.org. The Center is on Facebook http://facebook.com/NevadaCounty NonProfitLeadership and Twitter @NevCoNonprofits.
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