The City of Woodland has developed a Homeless Action Plan to guide policies and allocation of resources to better manage the issues associated with homelessness, increasing the availability of housing for extremely low-income individuals and families, and expanding availability and capacity of services. Highlights of the Homeless Action Plan include:
I. Managing Issues
The growing number of homeless individuals in our community has resulted in a significant amount of City resources being diverted to addressing the impacts of homelessness in our parks, neighborhoods and business districts. While we work to find long-term strategies and solutions to the underlying causes of homelessness we are equally focused on managing the impacts of homelessness and, in so doing, maintain a high quality of life for our residents and a welcoming place for visitors. A significant portion of our citywide Homeless Action Plan is specifically focused on managing homeless issues by reducing impacts on the community. The following highlights several of the initiatives the City has undertaken, and continues to advance:
- Establishment of a Homeless Outreach Street Team, under the supervision of the Woodland Police Department to coordinate city response to complaints and incidents related to homelessness
- Developed partnerships with CalTrans and railroads to better coordinate clean-up of encampments along right-of-ways adjacent to freeways and railroad lines within the city.
- Review and update of City Ordinances to include:
- Blighted Properties
- Abandoned Property
- Shopping Carts
- Illegal Camping
- Park Curfews
- Hiring private security to monitor activity in and around the Woodland Public Library
- Installing surveillance cameras at selected locations throughout the City
- Coordinating with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office to pursue prosecution of individuals responsible for high number of criminal incidents and/or excessive “failure to appear” violations.
II. Increasing Permanent Housing: Woodland Micro-Neighborhood Proposal
With the goal of increasing affordable housing, the City conceived of Woodland Micro-Neighborhood, a mixed-income development of approximately 100 for-rent single and duplex micro-dwellings that will include individuals who are homeless. It will emerge in three phases over three years. The first phase, comprised of 60 micro-houses, will provide shelter for the most vulnerable—those who are homeless or unstably housed. Phases two and three will yield an additional 40 micro-houses for those with moderate incomes. Manufactured homes will range in size from 320 square feet studios to two bedrooms.
Progress regarding Phase One for those who are homeless includes the following:
- In July, the City received notification of a grant from the Partnership HealthPlan’s Innovation Fund as seed money toward first 60 micro-dwellings.
- Partners on the first phase of the project are Friends of Mission as the property owner and developer. Woodland nonprofit agencies Fourth and Hope and Woodland Opportunity Village will operate the programs on-site.
- Staff and partners are considering different sites and exploring other public and private funding opportunities. The project is estimated to cost approximately $5.5 million for the first 60 homes, an average of $95,000 per unit.
III. Expanding Service Availability and Capacity
Over the past months, the City has expanded service availability and capacity to those who are homeless.
- Social Services Manager—The first Social Services Manager has been hired and will begin work on September 3 providing street services alongside the HOST team.
- Multi-Disciplinary Team Meetings—Under the County’s facilitation, Woodland Police, representative from the City Manager’s Office, Dignity Health, and others meet monthly to coordinate efforts on individuals living homeless and address barriers to housing and services.
- Additional County Services—At the request of Woodland Police, the County’s Health and Human Services Agency has assigned a licensed mental health clinician to team with HOST to respond to field situations where mental health expertise is needed. Additionally, the County has assigned a program manager to oversee the federal grant under contract between the County and Fourth and Hope. This program manager directs the Fourth and Hope staff who provide outreach services in conjunction with law enforcement in each of the cities.
- Capital Expansion of Fourth and Hope—Fourth and Hope has requested additional Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to enclose the courtyard at its shelter, adding bathrooms, showers, and more capacity for day programming. The Council approved the funding in August 2018.