By Pamela Cruz. Peninsula 360 Press [P360P] / Bay City News
San Mateo County will receive $68 million in state funds to meet the needs of hundreds of homeless residents, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday.
The California Homekey grant will fund two projects in the county: first, $55.3 million will go toward construction of a 240-unit navigation center near Highway 101 in Redwood City.
The center will replace the Maple Street Shelter in 2022, which will be equipped with shelter services, case managers and other services for residents at risk of homelessness.
For the second project, the county will purchase and rehabilitate the Stone Villa Inn in San Mateo, which will be a 44-room temporary shelter space.
The $13.5 million project will serve as a launching pad for residents to find permanent housing with skills development services and immediate shelter.
The grant is the county's largest financial award for housing.
"This is a reflection of the state and county's values that, with commitment, you can get homeless people on the path to stable lives by providing them with intensive support services like job training, counseling and more," David Canepa, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said in a statement.
He added that San Mateo County can achieve functional eradication with the help of these two projects.
In a 2019 one-day homeless count, 1,500 San Mateo County residents were reported to be without a roof over their heads, and more than 900 were living without shelter. Since the pandemic, the county estimates these numbers may have expanded further as the housing crisis throughout the Bay Area continues to worsen.
San Mateo County previously received $33 million in Homekey funds to purchase 170 hotel rooms in Redwood City and Redwood Shores to provide long-term shelter for those experiencing homelessness due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This will change the face of homelessness in our county. This is a great opportunity to help our entire community by ensuring that all homeless people who want shelter can find it and are treated with dignity and respect. These are real people with real problems and these funds will change lives," said County Administrator Mike Callagy.
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