San Mateo County is set to receive $68 million in state funds to meet the needs of hundreds of unhoused residents, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced.
The grant from California’s Homekey program will fund two projects in the county — first, $55.3 million will go towards building a 240-unit Navigation Center near Highway 101 in Redwood City. The center will replace the Maple Street Shelter in 2022, equipped with shelter services, case managers and other services for residents at risk of homelessness.
For the second project, the county will buy and rehabilitate Stone Villa Inn in San Mateo, turning it into a 44-room temporary shelter space. The $13.5 million project will serve as a launching pad for residents to find permanent housing with skill-building services and immediate shelter.
The grant is the county’s largest financial award to go towards housing.
“This is a reflection of the state’s and County’s values that if you make the commitment, you can send people who are homeless on a path toward stable lives if you provide them with intensive support services such as job training, counseling and more,” said David Canepa, president of the Board of Supervisors, in a statement. “San Mateo County can achieve functional zero homelessness with the help of these two projects and I want to praise our staff for the hard work they have done to secure these life- and community-changing awards.”
On a 2019 One-Day Homeless Count, 1,500 San Mateo County residents were reportedly experiencing homelessness, with more than 900 living without shelter. Since the pandemic, the county estimates these numbers may have further expanded as the Bay Area-wide housing crisis continues to worsen.
San Mateo County previously received $33 million in Homekey funds to buy 170 hotel rooms in Redwood City and Redwood Shores to provide long-term shelter to those experiencing homelessness due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This will change the face of homelessness in our county. This is a tremendous opportunity to help our entire community by ensuring that every homeless individual who wants shelter can find it and are treated with dignity and respect. These are real people with real issues and these funds will change lives,” said County Manager Mike Callagy in a statement.