Steinberg Institute

Landmark ‘No Place Like Home’ signed by Gov. Jerry Brown

Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2016

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Maggie Merritt at 916-553-4167.

$2 Billion earmarked for permanent supportive housing for the homeless living with mental illness.

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today California Governor Jerry Brown signed “No Place Like Home” into law, approving the single largest investment in permanent supportive housing for Californians living on our streets with a serious mental illness.  The $2 billion No Place Like Home bond proposal was launched by the Steinberg Institute and championed by Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León and a bipartisan group of legislators.  Now with Governor Brown’s signature, our state has clearly articulated that housing for this vulnerable population is a top priority and it is time to make a measurable difference in the lives of tens of thousands of people.

No Place Like Home is a direct and powerful response to the growing issue of homelessness in our state,” said Darrell Steinberg, Founder of the Steinberg Institute and Sacramento Mayor-Elect. “We will no longer turn a blind eye to the needless suffering that is so clearly displayed on our streets.  Instead we are making a bold move to invest in what we know works and is the right thing to do.”

“This bipartisan legislative package will help secure progress in tackling homelessness and provide a key to health and hope for many Californians who have no place to go,” said Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León.

The legislation package allocates a small percentage of the Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63, 2004) revenue to finance the construction and rehabilitation of permanent supportive housing for those who live with a serious mental illness and do not have a place to call home. These funds will innovatively leverage billions of additional dollars from local, state, and federal funding streams to invest in housing and services, including mental health, primary care, and drug and alcohol treatment.

Specifically, the No Place Like Home program will fund:

  • Up to $2 billion in bonds to construct permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless persons with mental illness.
  • $45 million included in the 2016-17 budget to provide supportive housing in the shorter-term, rent subsidies, while the permanent housing is constructed or rehabilitated.
  • $45 million to increase participation in Supplemental Security Income outreach among homeless persons with disabilities who may be eligible for a disability benefits program.
  • $59.4 million included in the 2016-17 budget to support housing programs that will assist families:
    • The “Bringing Families Home” pilot project, a county matching grant program to reduce homelessness among families that are part of the child welfare system.
    • The CalWORKs Housing Support Program and Homeless Assistance, which provides housing and support services for CalWORKs families who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless.

“California has the nation’s largest homeless population and with this momentous step we are clearly stating that this traumatic social condition does not have to be our continued reality,” said Maggie Merritt, Executive Director of the Steinberg Institute. “Housing paired with supportive services is the key to recovery.  This investment is a national milestone and will go a long way towards changing the landscape of our state and the lives of tens of thousands of people.”

“I believe that we must do a better job of helping people who live with a serious mental illness. I support the efforts of the Steinberg Institute to create permanent supportive housing. Permanent supportive housing has proven to be a cost effective method of reducing recidivism rates for those who routinely receive treatment within the confines of jails or prison,” said Jackie Lacey, Los Angeles District Attorney.

The mission of the Steinberg Institute is to advance sound public policy and inspire leadership on the issues of mental health and this pioneering proposal is clear evidence of this mission in action.  Through a strong partnership with Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León and his staff, as well as the leadership of Governor Brown and the Department of Finance, California is leading the nation to ensure that those living with a mental illness are brought out of the shadows, off the streets, and into a home that provides them the services they need.

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