"Local First brings together many organizations to further the economic well-being and development of the tri-county area."

OUTSOURCING? Don’t allow our local homeless services to be operated by an agency out of Oakland.

Our response to a recent decision and recommendation from City of Salinas Community Outreach staff and other selected decision makers with regard to the recommended operator of the SHARE Navigation Center in Salinas due to open in early May, 2021. 

Read our analysis

Local Preference Policy and Impact on RFP Preference

 

How You  Can Help

In consideration of City Council #21-037 agenda item and County Supervisors Agenda Item #18 being considered on Tuesday, February 2,  I support rejecting the proposed staff recommendation to the Board of Supervisors and Salinas City Council to outsource operations to the BACS agency out of Oakland, CA of the SHARE Center for homeless services opening in April, 2021 and recommend instead contracting with our local homeless agency, Community Homeless Solutions (CHS), that has faithfully serve our homeless communities for over 42 years.  CHS  has the experience and expertise to operate the center and has been very effective in operating six shelters, 37 housing units for homeless, a respite care program and full wrap around services to help our homeless find housing and stable lives.

 

In summary, please:

  • Reject the staff recommendations to outsource the operational responsibility to a Bay area agency with no local presence, history or community experience with providing local homeless services;

  • Support the Local First initiative that both Monterey County and the City of Salinas have ascribed to that gives preference and choice to local businesses and agencies that provide services and goods, and to Community Homeless Solutions in particular;

  • Do not support the likely loss of up to 30 local positions for CHS staff, nor the reduction in services for up to 130 homeless individuals currently serviced by CHS with the loss of revenues associated with the proposed outsourcing of the contract for the operations of the SHARE center.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

Click the button below to send an email to County Supervisors and City Council to express your support.

 

Our Call-to-Action

The community looks to Community Homeless Solutions to be the non-profit leader in helping restore the homeless … through compassionate and effective services and housing solutions.

We are reaching out to our community partners, friends, guests and staff with regard to a recent decision and recommendation from City of Salinas Community Outreach staff and other selected decision makers with regard to the recommended operator of the SHARE Navigation Center in Salinas due to open in early May, 2021. 

The SHARE Center will house homeless families and individuals with the purpose of quickly placing them into permanent housing.

 

Action & Support Needed

The impact of the recommendation by City staff is significant.  CHS needs and is requesting the support of our friends and partners in Monterey County to communicate with the Salinas City Council and the Board of Supervisors to reject the staff recommendation of outsourcing the proposed services outside agency to operate the SHARE Center.  

CHS has the full capacity and ability to effectively operate the center, as well as the specific skill sets, community connections, experience in operating now six shelters/navigation centers, and specific housing navigation staff that manage the intake, case management, housing navigation and employment services that leads to stable lives.

Please consider helping Community Homeless Solutions (CHS) in the following ways to encourage both the City of Salinas and the County Supervisors to reject the staff recommendation to outsource operator services when they meet on February 2, and to instead choose to contract with CHS to operate the SHARE center when it opens.

Forward Our Message

City Council Meeting

Board of Supervisors Meeting

Forward this message to other friends and supporters of CHS asking them to submit a letter as well to the Board of Supervisors as well as the Salinas City Council rejecting the City staff recommendations to extend a contract to BACS and to extend a contract to CHS instead, which is local, has committed itself for over 40 years to working with the homeless, and is imminently qualified to operate the SHARE center.

Take Action! Opportunity to Submit Comments and/or Participate in Persons

Participate in the Monterey County Board of Supervisors meeting at 1:30pm on February 2 or submit comments to be read at the meeting by 5pm on Monday, February 1 to cob@co.monterey.ca.us

Participate in the City Council meeting via zoom starting at 3pm on February 2 or via written comment submitted prior to 2pm on February 2.  If written comment, we suggest using the following comments below with your own personal touches.  PublicComment@ci.salinas.ca.us

Take Action! Opportunity to Submit Comments and/or Participate Via Zoom

SHARE Center RFP Background

 

The City issued an RFP in November 2020 that invited agencies interested in operating the new SHARE center for homeless families and individuals to complete and submit their response to the RFP.  Only two agencies applied, Community Homeless Solutions and an agency from the Bay area named Bay Area Community Resources (BACS) that was personally invited to submit a response. 

Unfortunately, the City has prepared a staff report recommending to the County Supervisors and Salinas City Council to select BACS to operate the center instead of CHS.  We believe this is both a poor recommendation and not in keeping with best practices to extend the opportunity to operate the center with a local agency – Community Homeless Solutions – that is imminently qualified to operate the programs.

While CHS admires the programs and services that BACS has been successful in providing in several cities and communities in the Bay area, we strongly believe that the best and appropriate choice to operate the SHARE center is Community Homeless Solutions. 

The Bay area situation and homeless demographics are not the same as Monterey County and Salinas homeless.  CHS has been providing services to our homeless for over 40 years and has not only been extremely responsive to the needs of the cities and County in helping establish new shelters and housing opportunities for decades - and even more so during the COVID – but has continued to develop innovative solutions with housing guests as its’ top priority. 

CHS currently serves and houses over 300 homeless clients nightly in its’ shelters and homes and has successfully housed over 142 families and individuals alone over the past year from the shelters. Additionally, the clientele served by BACS are a completely different demographic of homeless than those we serve locally (a high percentage of our homeless are Latino families and individuals, and over 65% of CHS staff are bilingual), and we all know the desire and propensity of businesses and residents to work with local providers.

About Community Homeless Solutions

 

Community Homeless Solutions has been a vital leader of delivering comprehensive and innovative solutions for our homeless families and individuals in Monterey County for over 40 years and more recently in San Benito County for the past four years.  Our agency provides homeless services, housing options, shelters and navigation centers, street outreach and respite care to now over 1,200 persons each year and 110,000 bed nights, and this number is unfortunately growing each year.   We have been absolutely resilient in stepping up when called upon by our local cities, the county, the Coalition, and even more importantly by the community to expand services, extend hours, and start new programs.

 

This is what the agency is all about, taking each and every person wherever they are, and in the truest sense of what is termed a Housing First and trauma-informed model, our work is to listen, interview, understand, set goals and then provide every service linkage at our disposal to stabilize our guests, move towards their goals, and then ultimately move them to stable housing and employment on a timeline set by our guests.

What Makes CHS Uniquely Qualified to Be Chosen as the SHARE Center Operator

 
  • CHS has been operating for over 40 years in Monterey and San Benito counties and has the broadest offering of services to help our homeless to get off the street, receive wrap-around services and find stable housing.

    • Six shelters/navigation centers in Monterey and San Benito counties, two of which are direct service on behalf of the City of Salinas, three related to county services, and one on behalf of local hospitals.

    • CHS owns and operates thirty-seven housing units in Marina, housing over 120 families, individuals and youth who were previously homeless.  We are very familiar and connected to housing, both our own and other housing in the community, and have built vital relationships with landlords over the years.

    • Respite care home with six beds and working with three hospitals to house homeless coming out of an acute care stay.

  • We are very successful at moving people ready to be housed into housing.  83% of TH guests found permanent housing, 65% housed from respite program and 145 people have been housed from our shelters in the last year

  • Our staff of nearly 90 people are local residents, dedicated to helping the homeless.  Over 65% are bi-lingual, which is extremely helpful when working with a majority of our clients who speak Spanish and understand the culture. 

  • CHS has been operating the Salinas warming shelter since 2015, putting in place all of the key processes, staff, housing navigation staff, COVID protocols, community connections, faith community engagement

  • Resiliency and Growth during the very difficult COVID season, 24 x 7 services

  • CHS did great job with both its’ RFP response as well as with the public forum, and were told so by participants on the call, yet the scores are not consistent with this feedback.

  • Community connectedness and long-term relationships

    • Non-profit housing providers: CHISPA, HOME, HRC, HA

    • Non-profit boards:  Eric serves on several local boards including Salinas Regional Sports Authority (soccer complex), prior CEO of First Tee, Marketplace Meets Mission, Love Our Central Coast

    • Ties to faith community: LOCC, serve days, food services, tutoring

  • Direct connections with schools and homeless services in Salinas, MPUSD: Cheryl Camany, Donna Smith, PK Diffenbaugh

Implications of Recommending Outside Vendor to Operate Shelter

 
  • We believe that the decision to outsource services with the recommended Bay area agency by City of Salinas staff has undesirable consequences that include:

  • Outsourcing would result in layoff of approximately 30+ staff from CHS as the warming shelter would be closed in downtown Salinas with the opening of the SHARE center.  Laying off local employees is not a good community-minded precedent, especially when already trained and providing shelter services in Salinas.

  • Not having this operation would severely impacted CHS as an organization, as it would result not only in lost revenues that would be paid CHS to operate the center, but a reduction as well of $1.3m in revenues with the closure of the Salinas Warming Shelter. 

  • Without the SHARE center contract, CHS programs will be substantially reduced in other areas of operations and the ability to spread costs of admin, finance and case management staff across the agency would impact CHS’ ability to continue to respond to services at the same level.  CHS would need to evaluate which services it could in fact continue to provide, but they will be reduced.

  • The reduction in CHS capability to continue serving existing homeless will be reduced by up to 130 individuals we serve currently.  These individuals and families will fall back into the system, the street, on the backs of other agencies or to the street in Chinatown most likely.

  • Local tax dollars spent on homelessness would be outsourced to an entity that is not based in Monterey County.  Tax dollars should support local residents and agencies.

  • Provision of mental health services, while a strength of BACS in the bay area, would be very challenging locally.  Local medical providers state time and again that local mental health services rarely available locally, that behavioral health providers do not provide ongoing care, and they are not willing to take pay cuts to provide services to Medi-Cal patients in particular, let alone homeless clients.

  • Navigation Centers are not new, just the terminology. 

  • CHS has operated all of it’s shelters and housing centers as “virtual” Navigation Centers for over 10 years – six shelters, including some specifically for domestic violence guests as well as respite care guests for those homeless recuperating from a hospital stay.

  • Our key goal is to provide safe bridge housing, active case management and aggressive housing navigation and placement services. 

Community

Homeless

Solutions

A 501(c)(3) Non Profit Organization

3087 Wittenmyer Court

Marina, CA 93933

office 831.384.3388

fax 831.384.1308

email us

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