City of Vallejo and Local Healthcare Systems Collaborate to Build Navigation Center for the Homeless
Courtesy of the City of Vallejo
VALLEJO, Calif. – The City of Vallejo today announced that it has secured the funding needed to move forward with the construction and operation for a new proposed Vallejo Navigation Center in south Solano County. The center will provide access to temporary housing and wraparound services to support men and women living unsheltered in the City of Vallejo, thanks to a combined investment of $6.2 million from three not-for-profit healthcare systems: Sutter Health, Kaiser Permanente and NorthBay Healthcare.
“The center is a longtime dream of mine, and I’m so proud of our community for coming together and finding a way to make this a reality for people who are desperately in need,” said City of Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan. “Sutter, Kaiser Permanente and NorthBay have proven track records of improving the health in this region, so it was no surprise that all three not-for-profit healthcare systems stepped up to help. This is truly a remarkable demonstration of how we can collaborate for the overall good of our community.”
The proposed Vallejo Navigation Center is an important step to enhance the regional shelter infrastructure for people experiencing homelessness. For the City of Vallejo, building the center is a critical milestone in implementing a spectrum of housing policies that help create a pathway for individuals without housing to secure housing. This means connecting individuals to health services, income sources, and eventually a path towards permanent housing; this is an effort that has been dubbed P.A.T.H. – Providing Access To a Home.
Like many places in California, the City of Vallejo and the County of Solano have identified homelessness as a significant and concerning issue as the city has seen an increase in the number of homeless people. To deal with this issue it is important for the City to find ways to maintain safe, healthy communities where residents can be housed.
“Homelessness is a statewide crisis and public-private partnerships like this are exactly the type of solutions we need to bring to scale throughout California,” said Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento Mayor and Co-Chair on the Governor’s Council of Regional Homeless Advisors. “This facility will provide a safe place for people experiencing homelessness to stabilize, access on-site supportive services and the housing coordination needed to get off the streets and into housing.”
The center will serve as a “one-stop shop” for services that are critical to help address some of the core causes of homelessness. It will include:
• Access to shelter beds;
• Individual case management to help connect those who need services like respite care after medical treatment, substance abuse counseling, mental health support and job training; and
• Assistance with housing readiness support, training and securing permanent housing.
The City of Vallejo focused its efforts following the vision of the Community Action Partnership of Solano Joint Powers Authority’s Five-Year Strategic Plan, which recommends a ‘housing first’ policy approach to lower barriers to permanent, emergency and temporary housing and also recommends the improvement of navigation of homelessness services. Providing navigation can help connect individuals to the right services to improve their ability to obtain and maintain shelter. The Vallejo Navigation Center will do both: improve the access to wrap-around services and provide access to temporary shelter beds for up to six months.
“The center will provide a safe, healthy and stable environment where vital services can more effectively coordinate and have a significant impact on getting individuals experiencing homelessness on a track to obtaining ongoing services and support, while lessening the impact on other public services,” said Solano County Supervisor Monica Brown.
“As a not-for-profit integrated health network, Sutter focuses on improving the health of those inside and outside the walls of our hospitals and care centers,” said Sutter Solano Medical Center CEO Abhishek Dosi. “We know that when unhoused people find housing, their health improves. This investment builds on Sutter’s commitment to improve the health of the entire community we serve.”
“Projects like this can transform communities and change the narrative around homelessness. This initiative will highlight the profound impact that a person-centered approach coupled with comprehensive services can have,” said Nor Jemjemian, Kaiser Permanente senior vice president and area manager for Napa-Solano Area. “We know that this center will transform lives. We hope that it will also be a catalyst for change in how those who are homeless are treated – here in Solano County and beyond.”
“We all play a role in lifting up our communities,” said Aimee Brewer, NorthBay Healthcare Group president. “When private and public partners team up, creative and thoughtful approaches emerge. The Vallejo Navigation Center is evidence of that teamwork.”
“The project could not move forward without the partnership of the City of Vallejo and Solano County joined with the support of all three healthcare systems,” said Supervisor Erin Hannigan, Chairwoman of the Solano County Board of Supervisors. “We are now better positioned to improve our efforts to properly address the homelessness crisis in our community.”
The Vallejo Navigation Center is expected to serve up to 125 people at one time and serve approximately 500 people annually. The center will receive referral services from direct referral partners, including law enforcement, area hospitals, coordinated entry and Veteran’s the Administration. It is scheduled to welcome its first clients in 2020 and will be operationally sustainable for the next three years, thanks to the investments of Sutter Health, Kaiser Permanente, and NorthBay Healthcare.
A media kit with renderings, a staff report, video clips and photos will be available here.