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County to Fund Housing For Homeless People With Mental Illness

It's about time!

OAKLAND -- Alameda County hopes to attack two root causes of homelessness next year with new social service programs aimed at the mentally ill.

Using a portion of a annual

$20 million grant from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, the county and two partners will seek to offer permanent housing and services to mentally ill homeless persons.

"The programs will serve a very under-served and chronic homeless population in our county," said Riley Wilkerson, manager of the county's community development agency. "We are really starting to make inroads and focus in on the populations that have a high level of use."

One of the new programs will focus on mentally ill homeless who have criminal histories. The program, Forensic Assertive Community Treatment Shelter Plus Care, will give permanent housing to 13 homeless individuals and provide each with services. The other program, STAY Well Housing Project, will focus on 31 mentally ill homeless people ages 18 through 25. STAY will be run in a partnership between the Tri-City Homeless Coalition, Fred Finch Youth Center, East Bay Recovery Project and the county.

In total, 43 separate programs will be funded through the federal grant awarded to the county on Friday. The $20 million was the second largest amount sent to a county in California. Los Angeles County won about $68 million in grants for homeless programs. San Francisco County won more than $18 million.

Contact Paul Rosysnky at prosysnky@bayareanewsgroup.com or 510-208-6455.
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