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File #: 2021-742   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: City Council
On agenda: 4/6/2021
Title: Recommendation to Review and Provide Feedback on Preliminary Goals and Strategies for the Homelessness Strategic Plan. (Community Development 256)
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Steering Committee Roster, 2. Exhibit 2 - Emerging Goals and Strategies, 3. Presentation, 4. Correspondence from City Manager

Title

 

Recommendation to Review and Provide Feedback on Preliminary Goals and Strategies for the Homelessness Strategic Plan. (Community Development 256)

 

Body

 

To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

In January of 2021, staff began work on a new five-year Homelessness Strategic Plan to reduce and prevent homelessness in Alameda, and strengthen the physical health, mental health, and social service supports for our unhoused residents. In October of 2020, City Council asked staff to provide them with updates and opportunities for feedback on this process. In response to this request, and based on the evaluation and outreach completed thus far, staff is seeking feedback on a set of preliminary goals, strategies and action steps.

 

BACKGROUND

 

From 2017 to 2019, Alameda’s unsheltered population rose by 13%, to 231 individuals. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic left an even greater number of Alameda families and individuals at risk of, or directly experiencing, homelessness. The Alameda City Council has identified addressing homelessness as one of its priorities for 2020-2021.

 

After an update to City Council in October of 2020, work began on the new Homelessness Strategic Plan in January of 2021. The planning process is being led by Homebase, a nationally recognized expert on homelessness with extensive technical assistance and facilitation experience.

 

As part of Phase One of the strategic planning process, Homebase has completed an assessment of existing programs and systems in Alameda, and initiated the stakeholder engagement process. Stakeholder engagement at the time of the writing of this report has included a community kick-off meeting, the establishment and initial meetings of a Steering Committee (Exhibit 1: Steering Committee Roster), and interviews and focus groups with service providers, individual City Council members, members of the business community, and City of Alameda (City) staff.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Based on the evaluation and outreach completed at the time of the writing of this report, Homebase has developed a set of preliminary goals, strategies, and action steps (Exhibit 2: City of Alameda Homelessness Strategic Plan: Emerging Goals & Strategies). This early work product reflects the first two months of an eight month planning process, and is intended to generate feedback and direction for future iterations. In addition to soliciting feedback from City Council, staff will also present the attached memorandum to the Steering Committee in mid-March and to the Social Services and Human Relations Board (SSHRB) on March 25. Staff will provide City Council with a verbal update on feedback received from the Steering Committee and SSHRB.

 

Upcoming engagement opportunities will include focus groups with individuals with lived experience and City staff, and continued Steering Committee meetings to guide the planning process. Feedback from these engagements, SSHRB meetings, a recently completed community-wide survey, other ongoing outreach, and input and direction from the City Council will be incorporated in future iterations of the attached memorandum. A more refined set of goals and strategies will be presented at a second community meeting later this spring, and the draft Homelessness Strategic Plan will come before the City Council for review and approval in summer of 2021.

 

ALTERNATIVES

 

                     Provide feedback on preliminary goals and strategies for the Homelessness Strategic Plan.

                     Request additional information prior to providing feedback.

                     Provide no feedback.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

There is no financial impact from providing feedback on preliminary goals and strategies for the Homelessness Strategic Plan. However, many of the policies and programs under consideration are not currently funded, or are funded by grants which will expire this year. Many of the programs and policies included in the final Homelessness Strategic Plan will require new sources of funding in order to be implemented. Funding programs under the final Homelessness Strategic Plan would be subject to future City Council appropriations approval.

 

MUNICIPAL CODE/POLICY DOCUMENT CROSS REFERENCE

 

This action is consistent with the SSHRB Charter and the authority contained in Alameda Municipal Code Section 2-11.5 authorizing SSHRB “to improve social services in the community” and the policy recommendations in the Alameda Homeless Report.

 

This action is also consistent with and supports City Council’s 2020-2021 priority Focus Area 3: Supporting Enhanced Livability and Quality of Life.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

 

This action is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines section 15601(b)(3).

 

CLIMATE IMPACTS

 

The Social Vulnerability Assessment section of the draft Climate Action and Resiliency Plan states:

“adaptation strategies should consider how [the homeless] will receive emergency communications and how they will be sheltered. Proper, safe housing for all is an adaptation and resilience strategy.  Planning strategies should always consider these vulnerable populations in adaptation efforts.”

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Review and provide feedback on preliminary goals and strategies for the Homelessness Strategic Plan.

 

CITY MANAGER RECOMMENDATION

 

The City Manager is seeking City Council direction on the Homelessness Strategic Plan.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Nelson Maxwell, Interim Community Development Director

 

By,

Amanda Gehrke, Development Manager

 

Financial Impact section reviewed,

Annie To, Finance Director

 

Exhibits:

1.                     Homelessness Strategic Plan Steering Committee Roster

2.                     City of Alameda Homelessness Strategic Plan: Emerging Goals & Strategies

 

 

cc:                     Eric Levitt, City Manager