(PLACERVILLE, CA) –Thirty people in seventeen households have avoided becoming homeless in El Dorado County as a result of efforts from the Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless and the El Dorado Opportunity Knocks Continuum of Care (EDOK), according to officials from the El Dorado County Health and Human Services agency
"The Health and Human Services Agency has been a leader for EDOK, as well as a key partner for my organization and this County, meeting compliance requirements at the state and federal level to create pipelines for increased grant funding to come to this community for needed housing and services," said Marissa Muscat, Executive Director of Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless. "As Tahoe Coalition facilitates EDOK's intake process into programs, we were pleased to utilize these available one-time grant funds to help prevent homelessness for 17 households."
On behalf of EDOK, a federal program implemented on the local level to combat homelessness through developing a system of grant funded services, Tahoe Coalition acts as the lead agency for the Continuum of Care's Coordinated Entry process. This process is available Monday through Friday to currently homeless or at-risk of homeless households to determine eligibility for available housing and services programs funded through state and federal grants.
Provided through Health and Human Services, $30,000 in one-time discretionary funding through the Community Services Block Grant was made available to Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless on July 1, 2019. It is nearly all spent. "We had concerns that we may not be able to spend that much money in less than a year, but that wasn't the case," said Muscat. Tahoe Coalition was able to prevent homelessness for a total of 30 individuals, making up 17 total households. Thirteen households had a head of household between the ages of 51 and 72. One of those households is caretaker for a minor daughter. The remaining 4 households had a head of household between the ages of 23 and 38. Three of those households had a total of 6 children, with one household having a baby.
To access the homeless prevention funding, households had to verify that they earn an income at 30% or below Area Median Income and that they were imminently at risk of losing their housing and becoming homeless. "Everyone served through Tahoe Coalition and EDOK with this homeless prevention funding have been residents of El Dorado County for between 3 and 54 years, some of whom suffer from various chronic health conditions or life-long injuries, had fallen into crisis due to a death of a family member, experienced a loss of a job, or through some combination of all of the above," said Daniel Del Monte, Deputy Director of Health and Human Services.
"Through this one-time assistance, these households were able to stabilize in their permanent housing, and moving forward, preventing homelessness will be a key to helping at-risk residents now while saving local tax dollars from being spent on very expensive community issues down the road, he added."
Additional state grant funding may become available to EDOK over the coming 12 months. In the meantime, EDOK is preparing developing a five-year strategic plan to impact homelessness through its partnerships with local non-profits, faith based groups, health care organizations, and government agencies. As the process unfolds in the coming weeks, more information will be available on EDOK's website www.edokcoc.org
To learn more about Coordinated Entry and the Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless, visit their website here https://tahoehomeless.org/