Concord, Calif. – At its meeting on Feb. 6, the Concord City Council accepted the final draft of the City’s Homeless Strategic Plan – a 44-page document that will serve as a roadmap as Concord begins implementing the strategies to prevent and address homelessness.
While homelessness is a persistent challenge throughout the Bay Area, Concord identified it as a top priority and, in 2022, Council asked City staff to develop a comprehensive plan with recommendations for strategies that Concord could implement using $5.4 million in one-time funds that had been specifically allocated for these purposes.
“I am so proud of the time and effort that has gone into producing this guiding document,” said Mayor Edi Birsan, who served as the Vice Chair of the Homeless Strategic Plan’s 11-member working group. “We now have tangible strategies that we can begin to implement. Now is when the real work begins, and I know that our community is dedicated to doing this right.”
Concord officially kicked off the strategic planning process in February 2023 with an outside consultant who helped facilitate the process. Council appointed an 11-member working group, with people who represented a variety of experiences, including someone with lived experience of being homeless, a nonprofit homeless services provider, a mental health professional, a business owner, and others.
The group held a dozen public meetings and several community-input sessions and frequently presented their progress to the full City Council, which approved the vision, goals, and strategies at various stages of the process.
A key feature of the Homeless Strategic Plan is its emphasis on gathering input from individuals who have directly experienced homelessness. This was accomplished through an extensive process comprised of surveys and focus group discussions. These efforts identified the precise needs and challenges faced by the homeless population in the Concord community, thereby informing the development of the strategies outlined in the plan.
The approved strategies include:
- creating a mobile resource center
- investing in rapid re-housing,
- developing various interim housing models, such as scattered site homes and tiny homes, centralized tiny homes, and interim motel housing.
At the Feb. 6 meeting, Council signaled its desire to start with the mobile resource center and interim small motel housing, seeking non-profit partners and other organizations to assist in the implementation and help offset the ongoing costs to running and providing services to unhoused individuals.
At the same time, the City is actively seeking a $4.7 million grant from the State to help fund these efforts. The grant awards are expected to be announced this spring.
The more than $5 million in one-time funds that the City currently has was allocated out of Concord’s Measure V (sales tax) fund and the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds the City received as part of the pandemic recovery efforts.
Now that the Strategic Plan has been completed and accepted, City staff will begin finalizing the operational and logistical details of the plan implementation, which includes meeting with community stakeholders and developing requests for proposals.
City staff will return to Council in a few months to provide an update on the grant and to request an appropriation of funds to support the implementation of the targeted strategies.
Other Ways the City is Supporting the Unhoused
The City of Concord has long been involved in supporting the unhoused. In fiscal year 2023-24, the City has dedicated $1.2 million to partner organizations to support their service to the community. These organizations include: Contra Costa Crisis Center, Contra Costa Homeless Services, Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, Hope Solutions, Monument Crisis Center, RotaCare, STAND! For Families Free of Violence, the Trinity Center, and Winter Nights Family Shelter.
Through the County’s program, the City of Concord funds a three-person Coordinated Outreach, Referral & Engagement (CORE) team, which works 40 hours per week in Concord, interacting with the unsheltered, making referrals to supportive services and providing transportation to overnight shelters, including the full-service shelter in Concord, which has 60 beds. In December 2023, Concord’s CORE team interacted with 261 unhoused individuals, and assisted 27 people in making stable exists from the streets.
Concord also funds a rapid re-housing program known as Hope Solutions, which assists Concord residents who are experiencing homelessness or are at imminent risk of homelessness with supportive services including case management, housing navigation, household budgeting, and short-term rental assistance.
For more information on how Concord is actively working to assist the unhoused, please visit our Homeless Services web page.
- Oct 20 – Concord Hosts Meetings to Focus on Homeless Strategic Plan
- July 14 – Richmond and Antioch See Largest Gain in Homeless Population in Contra Costa County
- July 5 – Concord Seeks Input for Homeless Strategic Plan
- Dec 19 – Concord Seeks Applicants for Homeless Strategic Plan Working Group
- Dec 13 – Concord City Council to Create Working Group for Homeless Strategic Plan