Homeless shelter on track for fall finish

A look inside on of many shelters used by the homeless along the river bed.

The new county homeless shelter is on track to be done by November, Health and Human Services Director James Rydingsword said this week.

Rydingsword gave an update on homeless services at a county board meeting Tuesday and talked about upcoming grant awards, including a grant of $75,000 a year for the next three years.

“First of all, let me talk about 1161 (San Felipe Road), the building that we purchased,” Rydingsword told county supervisors. We used community development block grants to purchase the building. Those are secure.”

At an Aug. 9 meeting, supervisors approved a contract for architectural design for the building at 1161 San Felipe Road with In Studio Architecture for the amount of $66,400.

The new shelter will function as a permanent, year-round homeless services center. The current seasonal winter shelter will shut down once the new center is completed.

Later in the update, Rydingsword addressed the timeline for the new homeless shelter.

“We’ll be coming back to your board on May 9,” Rydingsword said. “That is the date we’ll be standing up here with (County Capital Program Manager Adam Goldstone) saying, ‘Here’s the plans. Here’s what we need to do to go out to get the people to build it.’ So at least the shelter part of 1161 will be completed by November and we plan to open that up for this winter.”

Rydingsword said he’d also be coming back before the supervisors on May 23 to ask for approval of the Whole Person Care grant issued by the California Department of Health Care Services. That grant funding would allow the department to bring in staff to start up the shelter project, he said.

“We’re anticipating Whole Person Care, which is a grant program that we’ve been told we are going to get,” Rydingsword said. “We just don’t have the formal letter on it yet.”

In addition, the department also received a California Medical Services program grant of $75,000 a years for the next three years, he said.

“And then the California Health Foundation approached our collaborative, which is (San Benito County), Mariposa and Plumas, has given us $30,000 to help move the collaborative along,” he said. “They’re paying for a consultant that will work with us for six months. The money is there, we’ve interviewed for consultants. They’re just putting together the final contract.”

The contract wasn’t something that would come back before the board, he said.

“That’s a pretty big thing for small counties for the (California Health Foundation) to show an interest in what we’re doing. Which could end up being some further money down the road to help develop systems and things like that.”

Leave your comments