Counties around California are preparing for an influx of state funding to add new housing for homeless people with mental illness. But it will likely be at least two years before they’re ready to hand out new house keys.
California’s Legislature approved the two billion dollar No Place Like Home initiative last summer. It repurposes money from the Mental Health Services Act passed by voters in 2004. Cindy Cavanaugh, Sacramento County Director of Homeless Initiatives, says now one hurdle for the state is making sure the money will still do as voters originally intended.
“They need to test that in the court, they need to see if that is legal under the initiative that went before the voters,” Cavanaugh says. “The result of that is unknown, so it adds some uncertainty for everyone.”
In the meantime, Cavanaugh says Sacramento County has to write and adopt a plan, scope its service commitment, and line up other funding. She wants to have that all done by the end of this year, around when the state could begin cutting checks.
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