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Torres-Martinez tribe to receive $540K state grant for homeless housing

Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians

The Torres Martinez Desert Band of Cahuilla near Thermal will receive a $540,000 state grant to support housing, shelter, and services for members experiencing or at risk of homelessness, the governor's office announced on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a $47 million the state awarded to tribal nations across California to prevent homelessness and meet the housing and services needs of their communities.

According to the governor's office, the awards include $20 million in tribal homeless assistance grants from the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency (BCSH) to fund projects in 16 tribal communities across the state. This includes the Torres Martinez Desert Band of Cahuilla.

The grant also includes four Homekey awards from the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) totaling $27 million to fund 75 homes for members of four tribes, including homeless youth.

“California is investing in getting people off the streets and into safe housing throughout the state with a particular focus on Native Americans and populations disproportionately impacted by homelessness,” said Governor Gavin Newsom.

The tribal grants program was created by Newsom and the Legislature to provide flexible funding to support the efforts of California tribes to address homelessness in their communities.

An additional $20 million in tribal grants will be awarded in 2023, the governor added.

“Tribal nations in California have been actively working to address housing insecurity, overcrowding and homelessness, but funding for housing and homelessness has often been an obstacle,” said BCSH Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez. “We heard that loud and clear through consultation and listening sessions held by our teams. We believe that these new direct resources will lead tribal leaders to move more quickly in meeting the unique challenges faced by members of their communities. We are committed to supporting the priorities laid out by tribal leaders and these grants will help address specific needs identified by the Tribal leadership. We look forward to expanding this partnership in the future.”

Since its inception, Homekey has funded more than 200 projects that when complete will provide more than 12,500 temporary and permanent homes for Californians experiencing or at risk of homelessness. More than 140 homes have been funded in partnership with tribes.

“HCD’s California Indian Assistance Program’s mission is to provide technical assistance to tribal partners to ensure access to housing funds and programs, including Homekey,” said HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez. “These four Homekey projects announced today are just the beginning–HCD will continue to collaborate directly with tribal communities and partners to meet their unique housing needs.”

Today’s announcement includes the following HHAP grants:

  • The Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians, Lakeport, will receive $5.2 million to create 65 housing units along with classrooms and support spaces for youth experiencing homelessness in Lake and Mendocino Counties.
  • The Cahto Tribe of Laytonville Rancheria will receive $2.6 million to create a wellness and resource center in Mendocino County.
  • The Round Valley Indian Tribes, Covelo, will receive $2.5 million to expand infrastructure to support new permanent housing for tribal members in need.
  • The Pit River Tribe, Burney, will receive $2.4 million to support rapid rehousing, services coordination and homelessness prevention efforts.
  • The Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, Santa Rosa, will receive $1.2 million to improve data collection efforts and systems that serve tribal members experiencing homelessness statewide with designated service areas in Sonoma, Mendocino, Contra Costa and Lake Counties.
  • The Tolowa Di Nee’ Nation, Smith River, will receive $1 million to support rapid rehousing and case management for tribal members along the North Coast of California and South Coast of Oregon.
  • The San Pascual Band of Mission Indians, Valley Center, will receive $790,000 to assist tribal members experiencing homelessness.
  • The Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me Wuk Indians, Jamestown, will receive $630,000 to support interim shelter and street outreach in Tuolumne County.
  • The Pala Band of Mission Indians will receive $610,000 to support housing efforts on the reservation.
  • The Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria will receive $610,000 to support their transitional shelter.
  • The Yurok Tribe, Klamath, will receive $570,000 to assist with rapid rehousing, case management, outreach and youth engagement.
  • The Torres Martinez Desert Band of Cahuilla, Thermal, will receive $540,000 to support housing, shelter and services for members experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
  • The Wilton Rancheria, Elk Grove, will receive $460,000 to support efforts to assist tribal members experiencing homelessness.
  • The Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria, Loleta, will receive $340,000 to aid with rapid rehousing and other services for members experiencing homelessness.
  • The Guideville Rancheria, Talmage, will receive $250,000 to leverage Homekey funding in the construction of 16 units for youth experiencing homelessness.
  • The Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake will receive $250,000 to support housing efforts within the community.

The Homekey awards announced today include:

  • The Wiyot Tribe will receive more than $14 million to purchase, convert and operate an office building and two single-family Victorian-style homes into 39 interim and permanent units serving homeless youth and one manager unit, to create the Jaroujiji Youth Housing Project in Eureka. This project was fully funded through the Homekey youth set-aside.
  • Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians will receive nearly $6.6 million for the acquisition of a 15-apartment complex, its rehabilitation and operations in Lakeport.
  • Guidiville Indian Rancheria in partnership with Northern Circle Indian Housing Authority will receive nearly $4.6 million for the construction and operations of 16 new units in Ukiah. The site will include a community garden and electric trike sharing.
  • Northern Circle Indian Housing Authority will receive $1.9 million for the new construction and operation of four permanent affordable homes for chronically homeless individuals in Hopland.

Cal ICH staff will continue to listen to and support the tribes as they implement their funded projects, and technical assistance will be provided as needed. Grant recipients will provide Cal ICH with quarterly and annual progress reports.

The Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) will release a third round of Homekey funds in early 2023 after receiving stakeholder feedback for potential revisions.

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Article Topic Follows: California

Jesus Reyes

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