Healthy and Safe Communities

Provide quality and equitable housing, health, and human services for all.

Goal 4, Objective 2

Partner with cities to build a strategic plan for homeless prevention and housing strategies by 2023.

On Track 90%

Updated: January 2023

Summary of Objective Implementation Status

The joint, collaborative 2023-2027 countywide Strategic Plan on Homelessness was approved by the Continuum of Care Board (CoC Board) and will be submitted to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors for their approval.  It has been about a year in development to this point.   The effort involved an interim step – that being the approval by the Board of Supervisors and the CoC Board of a “Homeless Action Plan” or HAP- that can be seen as a precursor to the larger Strategic Plan.

Key Milestone Update

A key goal was the completion of the 2022 HAP by May 1, 2022, with approval from the CoC Board and the Board of Supervisors and submittal to the California Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) not later than June 30, 2022.  This was accomplished, although later Governor Newsom pulled back all counties’ HAP plans for further review.

Another main goal was the completion of the 5-Year Strategic Plan by March 2, 2023, with approval by the Board of Supervisors, the CoC Board, and interested city councils not later than June 30, 2023.

On Wednesday, December 14, 2022, the CoC Board approved a 2023-2027 Homelessness Strategic Plan unanimously.  The CoC Board posted the amended discussion draft for reader review.

Coordination and Partnership Update

The draft strategic plan involved extensive coordination with stakeholders, city representatives, and others throughout the 12-month approval process.  All meetings of the Strategic Planning Committee and the CoC Board were open to the public, with three separate three-hour meetings near the end of the process to go over the draft plan.  City comments were received in one summary document, with most if not all recommendations included or otherwise responded to. Lead Agency staff worked closely with City and other stakeholder partners to address last minute questions about the Plans’ action steps.

Community, Equity, and Climate Update

Development of the plan included specific feedback from equity communities.  One section of the draft plan specifically addresses current inequities in the Homeless System of Care, and is re-stated below:

Strategy 3.7: Eliminate disparities in access, service provision, and outcomes in the homeless system of care

Action Steps

3.7a: Develop a new vulnerability assessment, prioritization, and placement process to replace the VI-SPDAT that includes an analysis of individuals’ housing strengths and results in equitable housing placement. A year after use, examine (and revise if needed) to ensure that BIPOC individuals/families receive equitable placement (part of accomplishing 3.7c and 3.7d).

3.7b: Track access and outcomes data by age, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation.

3.7c: Ensure that Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC) are provided equal services within the homeless system of care.

3.7d: Address racial and ethnic disparities access and outcomes of the homeless system of care.

3.7e: Ensure that the CoC Board’s and the system of care’s racial and ethnic representation reflects the population of Sonoma County’s homeless community and consider updating the Charter to include designated seats for BIPOC members.

3.7f: Build up Equity-Centered Results-Based Accountability (RBA) framework.

3.7g: Accommodate multi-generational households; work to keep households intact.

3.7h: Support the Lived Experience Advisory and Planning Board (LEAP Board) in advancing the objectives developed with Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII) to address racial and ethnic disparities access and outcomes of the homeless system of care.

3.7i: Ensure that at least two persons with Lived Experience in homelessness serve on the CoC Board.

Funding Narrative

The CoC and the County contracted with Homebase to provide the Strategic Plan update.  About $130,000 was spent.  The Strategic Plan envisions a long-term funding plan for the many activities within it, and this plan is set to be complete and taken to the CoC Board by January 2023.