The San Leandro Homeless Compact is a collaboration between the City of San Leandro’s human services and police departments, homeless advocacy non-profit Building Futures with Women & Children, and the Rental Housing Association of Southern Alameda County (RHA), to provide long-term housing and services to chronically homeless individuals in San Leandro.
The Homeless Compact came out of a conversation that Mayor Pauline Cutter had with Liz Varela of Building Futures about the federal vouchers that covered rent and provided comprehensive case management for tenants. Mayor Cutter recollected, “Liz Varela was telling me that she had all these vouchers and couldn’t do anything with them. She was frustrated that she had the means but not the way to get these people into homes. A couple of weeks later the rental apartments came up. I got the idea to make a match between them and it’s been very successful.”
Working with Building Futures, the city identified a gap in homeless outreach services and secured funding to hire staff and provide additional nights at a local warming shelter. Staff also created, and now leads, a multi-disciplinary case management team to provide confidential case management to support homeless and recently-homeless residents with services to help them succeed as tenants in a challenging rental market. San Leandro city staff from various departments also bring necessary county resources to the team.
The Compact and its weekly case management team meetings are unprecedented and a model approach for addressing homelessness. Currently several other cities in Alameda County are attempting to replicate the Compact.
Mayor Cutter commented, “I’m really excited about this program because I think that any city can replicate it. Every city has spaces available. We have vouchers all over the state of California and all we have to do is match the two with the wraparound services that counties offer. It’s a match made in heaven really, for everybody.