Human Services Agency: Homeless and Safety Net Services (7510P)
Program Outcome Statement
Coordinate the delivery of supportive safety net services through community partnerships to promote housing stability and food security for individuals, families, and communities.
Through contracts with community partners, the Human Services Agency (Agency) coordinates the following:
- Emergency safety net services such as information and referrals, food, rental, utility, and transportation assistance
- Emergency shelter and transitional housing
The Homeless and Safety Net Services program administers contracts with community-based organizations. These collaborations maximize County and Federal funding to address the seasonal and distinct geographical needs of the County.
Since 1976, San Mateo County has partnered with community-based organizations, known as Core Service Agencies, to provide an array of emergency and support services to County residents struggling to meet their most basic needs, such as shelter, food and clothing. There are currently eight Core Service Agencies which work in close collaboration with the Agency to provide assistance to individuals and families to stabilize their living situations, provide crisis intervention, financial assistance, and referrals based on evaluation of needs and qualifications for assistance. In addition, the Agency contracts with providers to operate three year-round emergency shelters: Safe Harbor Shelter in South San Francisco, Maple Street Shelter in Redwood City, and through Measure A funding, the WeHOPE Shelter in East Palo Alto.
Percent of Homeless Clients in Transitional Shelters Connected to Mainstream Services is Exceeding Target
Annual Cost Per Client Receiving Safety Net Services is Increasing
Percent of Food Assistance Requests Met by CORE Service Agencies MeetsTarget
Number of Sheltered and Unsheltered Residents in Biennial Homeless Census is Decreasing
FY 2017-18 Mid-Year Story Behind Performance
Percent of Clients Residing in Homeless Transitional Shelter (HUD Funded) That Are Connected to Mainstream Services and Benefits
The Center on Homelessness continues to emphasize that connecting homeless individuals and families to mainstream services is a key component of housing stability. Homeless service providers continue to offer intensive services to assist their clients with accessing mainstream benefits, such as CalFresh, health coverage, and other programs. In the first half of FY 17-18, 87% of clients graduating from transitional shelters were connected to mainstream services and benefits, exceeding the target of 85%. It is projected that the year end target of 85% will be met. The Human Services Agency and its partners will continue to implement strategies to connect clients with mainstream benefits and employment services to assist them with returning to permanent housing as quickly as possible.
Cost per Client Receiving Safety Net Services
The cost per client for FY 17-18 is projected to be $452 for homeless and safety net services. The cost increased from FY 16-17 due to the Measure K funding allocated for the implementation of the Strategic Plan to End Homelessness. Several new initiatives were launched during FY 16-17 and have become fully operational in FY 17-18, including Rapid Re-Housing, Shelter Diversion, and Coordinated Entry. Additional services were implemented in FY 17-18, including an expansion of Maple Street Shelter. These investments contribute to preventing homelessness and working toward a functional zero level of homelessness.
Percent of Clients Receiving Food Assistance from CORE Service Agencies
In the first half of FY 17-18, 98% of clients who requested food at a Core Service Agency received food assistance, nearly meeting the target of 99%. The eight Core Service Agencies, located throughout the County, provide safety net services including food assistance, homeless prevention services, referrals to homeless shelters, and a variety of other services to help vulnerable residents. The Core Service Agencies will continue to explore additional collaborations and service strategies to provide food assistance to those in need, as well as continuing their collaboration with key partners such as Second Harvest Food Bank.
Number of sheltered and unsheltered residents in biennial homeless census
On the morning of January 26, 2017, the Center on Homelessness coordinated the San Mateo County One Day Homeless Count. The 2017 count was conducted with approximately 350 volunteers, consisting of community-based providers, members of the public, and County staff, assisted by homeless guides. The 2017 count determined that there were 1,253 homeless people in San Mateo County on the night of the count, comprised of 637 unsheltered homeless people (living on streets, in cars, in RVs, in tents/encampments) and 616 sheltered homeless people (in emergency shelters and transitional housing programs). The results show a 16% decrease in the overall homeless count compared to 2015, with the largest decreases in the numbers of people living in the streets and in encampments.
- Continue Implementation of the Strategic Plan to End Homelessness,
including an emphasis that individuals exiting institutions are not
discharged to homelessness
- Implement the Coordinated Entry System for all populations
- Provide Employment Support Services to increase Housing Stability