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Newsom opens permanent housing site for those in shelters

From the Mayor's Office of Communications

February 14, 2006

Mayor Gavin Newsom today marked the opening of the Aranda Hotel as the latest addition to the City's portfolio of supportive housing sites under the Mayor's Housing First Program.

In his recent "State of the Homeless" Address, Newsom pledged his commitment to fully implement the housing component of the program by this summer.

The Mayor anticipates that with the opening of the Aranda Hotel and other supportive sites slated to come on line, that all remaining homeless CAAP (County Adult Assistance Program) recipients will be offered housing over the next five months. The city plans to open three additional new supportive housing sites (323 units) through the Housing First Program this fiscal year.

"In just 2 years time, we have changed the face of homelessness in San Francisco with a housing program that has radically altered our capacity to end chronic homelessness," said Mayor Newsom. "Not only are people getting housed as a result of the Housing First Program, they are staying housed. Retention rates among the participants of the program are better than 95%. This means that the housing providers report that more than 95% of the clients placed in their hotels, are either still living there or have moved out "for good cause" after one year," continued the Mayor.

The Aranda Hotel will feature a community kitchen for the residents which will allow them to prepare their own meals. A community kitchen will allow residents to shop for food they can prepare themselves as opposed to paying the higher cost for food available to them through fast food chain restaurants or corner convenience stores that charge a premium cost for prepared foods. The on-going construction of the kitchen is a continuation of the building improvements that are part of bringing a site into the Housing First Program.

Residents of the Aranda and other supportive housing sites under the Housing First Program will have better health care access and treatment with the aid of the city's Behavioral Health Roving Team. The Roving Team is a combination of citywide and departmental staff work ordered from Department of Public Health. This contract provides intensive case management support to tenants in all the Housing First buildings.

The Housing First Program began in 1999 to provide housing opportunities for homeless adults living in emergency shelters, as well as those receiving County Adult Assistance. This permanent supportive housing program has since grown to a housing portfolio of 2,222 units in 24 buildings. Beginning in 2004, The Housing First Program expanded to create housing opportunities for the population of single homeless adults in the Care Not Cash program. Since the implementation of Care Not Cash in May of 2004, 1,167 Care Not Cash clients have been housed.

The Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center (TARC), in partnership with the John Stewart Company provides property management for the Aranda Hotel.




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