Solano County lands $430,000 in state aid to help homeless amid Covid-19 outbreak

Fairfield Daily Republic, by Glen Faison, March 24, 2020
A man sleeps in a grassy area at the entrance to Allan Witt Park along West Texas Street in Fairfield, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. (Glen Faison/Daily Republic)

FAIRFIELD — Solano County will soon receive more than $430,000 to help the local homeless population during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The governor’s office announced the emergency grants Monday in a press release. The grants are part of $100 million in emergency funding that’s being distributed across the state.

Solano County will have an emergency grant of $206,370. The Vallejo/Solano Continuum of Care will manage a grant of nearly $224,309.

The state awarded the emergency grants to California counties, Continuums of Care and the state’s 13 largest cities to help protect the health and safety of people experiencing homelessness during the novel coronavirus outbreak, the governor’s office reports.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has said there are an estimated 108,000 unsheltered homeless people across the state.

Funding for the emergency grants was included in Senate Bill 89, which Newsom signed into law March 17. SB 89 authorizes up to $1 billion in total spending to provide assistance to help fight the spread of Covid-19.

Newsom’s administration the next day allocated $100 million in emergency funding from SB 89 to local governments to help protect the state’s homeless population and reduce the spread of Covid-19 by getting homeless people into shelter and providing immediate housing options.

The Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency’s Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council sent out award letters Monday, the governor’s office reports.

“The fast action by the Legislature in approving this funding has been matched by the swift action taken by our Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to get this money out the door and to the local jurisdictions where it’s needed,” Newsom said in a prepared statement. “This is money will be immediately available to help those who are homeless – among the most vulnerable to Covid-19.”

California’s 13 largest cities, or cities that are also a county, will receive nearly $42.97 million, while the state’s 58 counties will receive $27.34 million and California’s 44 Continuums of Care will receive nearly $29.69 million, the governor’s office reports.

The funding is intended for measures to help prevent and contain Covid-19 and can be used for medically indicated services and supplies, such as testing and hand-washing stations, according to the governor’s office. It can also be used for such things as acquiring new shelters, supplies and equipment for emergency shelter operations, increasing shelter capacity, street outreach and acquiring locations to place people who need to be isolated because of Covid-19 illness or exposure.

Solano County and the adjacent five counties combined will have nearly $7.09 million in emergency grant money available to help the homeless during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Sacramento will receive nearly $2.25 million. Sacramento County will receive $997,067. The Sacramento City and County Continuum of Care will receive $1.08 million.
  • Sonoma County will receive nearly $529,104. The Santa Rosa, Petaluma/Sonoma County Continuum of Care will receive nearly $575,096.
  • Contra Costa County will receive $411,485. The Richmond/Contra Costa County Continuum of Care will receive nearly $447,254.
  • Yolo County will receive $117,139. The Davis, Woodland/Yolo County Continuum of Care will receive nearly $127,648.
  • Napa County will receive $57,733. The Napa City and County Continuum of Care will receive nearly $62,752.

The city of Los Angeles will see the largest single emergency grant – nearly $19.34 million. The Los Angeles City and County Continuum of Care will receive another $10.96 million, while Los Angeles County will receive nearly $10.57 million.

Most people who have the new coronavirus experience only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. Some people, especially older adults and those with underlying health problems, experience more severe illness, such as pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover. The World Health Organization reports people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.