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File #: 2021-1285   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: City Council
On agenda: 10/5/2021
Title: Recommendation to Approve The Road Home: A 5 Year Plan to Prevent and Respond to Homelessness in Alameda. (Community Development 10061831)
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - The Road Home Plan, 2. Presentation, 3. Correspondence - Updated 10/5, 4. City Manager Correspondence, 5. Rent Assistance Slide



Recommendation to Approve The Road Home: A 5 Year Plan to Prevent and Respond to Homelessness in Alameda.  (Community Development 10061831)


To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council




City Council has identified addressing homelessness as one of its key priorities. As a result, in January of 2021, work began on a five-year plan to address homelessness.  Staff is recommending that the City Council review and approve The Road Home: A 5 Year Plan to Prevent and Respond to Homelessness in Alameda (the Strategic Plan) (Exhibit 1). The Strategic Plan provides an achievable roadmap to addressing homelessness in the City of Alameda (City) based on an evaluation of existing programs and systems, the latest available data and established best practices.




From 2017 to 2019, the number of people experiencing homelessness in the city rose by 13%, to 231 individuals. Of these, 132 individuals were unsheltered. Though unconfirmed, this number has likely increased over the last 2 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors.


While any number of people living on the street or in their cars is too many, homelessness challenges are solvable with the right strategies. With fewer than 300 people experiencing homelessness on any given day, and only half unsheltered, the scale of the problem presents an opportunity to make a meaningful impact on preventing and reducing homelessness in the community.


In January of 2021, work began on a five-year plan to address homelessness in the city. To assist with the strategic planning process, staff contracted with Homebase, a nationally recognized expert on homelessness with extensive technical assistance and facilitation experience.


Homebase has completed an assessment of existing programs and systems in and conducted extensive stakeholder engagement, including Steering Committee meetings, two community meetings, an online survey, and multiple focus groups and individual interviews.


In spring of 2021, staff brought a series of preliminary goals and strategies to the Social Services and Human Relations Board (SSHRB) and City Council for review and feedback. In August of 2021, the SSHRB reviewed and provided feedback on an earlier version of the plan. The current version of the Strategic Plan, which incorporates feedback provided by the SSHRB, will return to the SSHRB for final review and recommendation on September 23.  Staff will provide the City Council with a verbal update on the outcome of the September SSHRB meeting.




The Strategic Plan has been developed based on the evaluation and outreach completed in the winter and spring of 2021, as well as feedback from the SSHRB, the Steering Committee and City Council. The primary purpose of the Strategic Plan is to provide a roadmap to:

                     Prevent and reduce first-time homelessness;

                     Reduce chronic homelessness;

                     Shorten the period of time an individual or household remains homeless; and

                     Decrease returns to homelessness.

The Strategic Plan is organized around three overarching goals; each goal includes three main implementation strategies:

Goal 1: Secure a housing future for all Alamedans

Strategy 1.1: Assess and use available public and private land for housing

Strategy 1.2: Protect and expand affordable housing through local policy

Strategy 1.3: Coordinate short- and long-term housing solutions with the County and neighboring cities

Goal 2: Increase access to homeless emergency response services

Strategy 2.1: Develop flexible resources for diversion, prevention, and housing retention

Strategy 2.2: Provide low-barrier, temporary housing solutions

Strategy 2.3: Expand outreach and supportive services to unsheltered households

Goal 3: Mobilize the citywide response to homelessness

Strategy 3.1: Engage the community on the regional crisis of homelessness

Strategy 3.2: Strengthen the Homeless Response System infrastructure

Strategy 3.3: Ensure ongoing supportive services funding for assisted households

The Strategic Plan also contains a series of detailed action steps to facilitate the implementation of each strategy, and identifies a timeframe for completion, responsible parties and stakeholders, and potential funding sources. Success is measured by a set of initial metrics to track progress on the goals and strategies.



                     Approve the Strategic Plan.

                     Provide feedback on the Strategic Plan and request that the Strategic Plan return to City Council for final approval once the feedback has been incorporated.

                     Provide feedback on the Strategic Plan and approve the Strategic Plan on the condition that the feedback is incorporated (i.e. the plan would not return to City Council for final approval).

                     Do not approve the Strategic Plan and provide further direction on next steps.




There is no financial impact from approving the Strategic Plan. However, many of the policies and programs recommended in the Strategic Plan will require new sources of funding in order to be implemented. Any new funding programs would be subject to future City Council appropriations approval.




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 the City Council’s adoption of the 2018 Strategic Plan Update: Ending Homelessness in Alameda County, which recommended strategies and actions to reduce homelessness across the entire County, including the City. The goals, strategies and action steps in the Strategic Plan are aligned with those in the 2018 Strategic Plan Update.


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




The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) applies only to projects that have the potential for causing a significant effect on the environment.  This action is not a project pursuant to Public Resources Code section 21065 and CEQA Guidelines section 15378.




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.”




Approve The Road Home: A 5 Year Plan to Prevent and Respond to Homelessness in Alameda




The City Manager requests City Council consideration of the proposed 5 year plan to respond to homelessness in Alameda.  I believe ARPA funds along with County and State assistance would be beneficial in approaching our desire to provide for various types of housing for individuals who face homelessness.


Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Maxwell, Community Development Director



Amanda Gehrke, Development Manager


Financial Impact section reviewed,

Annie To, Finance Director



1.                     The Road Home Plan


cc:                     Eric Levitt, City Manager