CoC Updates for October 2020
In this month's CoC update, we have much to share about the ongoing efforts to address homelessness .

Highlights include:
  • Non-congregate shelter re-opening begins
  • New shower, laundry and clothing closet program in East County
  • Housing Authority wait list for site-based housing is now open
  • Census Count and Voter Registration ongoing
  • Homelessness Awareness Month (HAM): CoC Learning Hub meeting focused on Consumer experiences and seeking nominations for outstanding community partners and entries for annual HAM Toolkit.
COVID Updates
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On September 28th, Contra Costa began to allow new admissions to homeless shelters that have individual rooms where residents can be separated from other occupants (in contrast to congregate shelters where residents are housed in common spaces). Each individual must have a negative COVID test prior to entry. Specific guidance regarding this process has been provided to applicable providers.

People seeking shelter are advised to call 211 to determine available options.
As of October 9, 2020, nearly 5,865 people experiencing homelessness have received tests for COVID and 146 people experiencing homelessness have tested positive.

For the most up to date information on testing, cases and hotel placements for people experiencing homelessness in Contra Costa, visit the full dashboard using the button below.
Widespread testing provides a more accurate picture of how many cases exist in our community and helps us understand how and where the virus is spreading. This helps us make decisions that keep us all safe.
 
Testing also helps identify people without symptoms who could be spreading COVID-19 so that they can stay away from loved ones, work and public places until their infectious period is over.

Call (844) 421- 0804 or go to bit.ly/3hUGUIS
to schedule your test!
This summer's meeting series recordings on the Contra Costa Homeless System of Care Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic are now available.

Contra Costa’s Homeless System of Care Response to COVID-19 Pandemic: Where We've Been (8/21/20)

Contra Costa’s Homeless System of Care Response to COVID-19 Pandemic: Where We Are (8/27/20)

Contra Costa’s Homeless System of Care Response to COVID-19 Pandemic: Future Considerations (9/4/20)
System Updates
The Oasis Project, a new project in East County will now offer 15 minute showers, clean clothes and a snack for people experiencing homelessness on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Community Outreach Center on East 18th Street in Antioch, operated by Golden Hills Community Church.

The mobile shower, which is Americans with Disabilities Act certified, is the only such unit for use by the homeless in East Contra Costa County. It will be free for the public to use with no questions asked.

The Oasis also features a "clothing and care closet" operated by White Pony Express to provide clothes free of charge; connections to referral services provided by Contra Costa Health Services' Coordinated Outreach Referral and Engagement team (CORE) stationed in East County; and free haircuts offered by licensed hair stylists on-site.

Community Updates
The Housing Authority of the County of Contra Costa is opening the Site-Based Waiting List for the Senior units at The Terraces Apartments located at 2300 Nevin Avenue in Richmond. 

Applications will be accepted on line from 10 AM on November 2, 2020 to 4 PM on November 5, 2020. 

These applications are ONLY for senior applicants. The head of household or spouse must be 62 years of age or older. 

The application portal can be accessed at www.contracostahousing.org on November 2, 2020 at 10 AM.
Despite the many challenges posed by COVID, the U.S. Census, in partnership with many of our community agencies, completed their enumeration of homeless services sites and shelters/hotels being used as shelters on September 23rd.

The great news is that the official end of the Census has been extended until the end of October, so CORE will be supporting people in the field with completing their Census survey, if they have not already been counted until the deadline.

If you haven't been counted yet, fear not! The Census has officially been extended through October 31st and there is still time to be counted.
Haven't registered to vote yet? You have until November 3rd!
Visit the Contra Costa County Elections Office page for more information about:
  • Voter eligibility
  • How to register
  • Day of election registration
  • Conditional voter registration
  • Alternatives for people experiencing domestic violence
  • Ex-offender registration

Do you work with people experiencing homelessness?
For detailed resources to help people experiencing homelessness exercise their right to vote go to:

Contra Costa County Election Grant Opportunity
The Contra Costa Clerk-Recorder-Elections Department has grants available for agencies who want to to assist with ensuring a safe and secure election for November 2020. Grant awards will be between $1,000 - $5,000 each and applications are due by 10/16/20. For questions and applications, email CRE-sec@cr.cccounty.us.
Homelessness Awareness Month
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In honor of Homelessness Awareness month, the Council on Homelessness is seeking nominations for:

To nominate a person, agency or jurisdiction, click on the category above.

Nominations due 5 pm Friday, October 23, 2020

Nominees will be publicly recognized at the November CoC Learning Hub meeting on November 19th from 1 pm - 3 pm.
For Homelessness Awareness month in November, we generate a toolkit that goes out to the whole community that includes community events and forums as well as homeless service agency volunteer opportunities and donation needs. 

Please tell us about your:
  • Events
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Donation Needs

Please submit your information
by Friday October 16, 2020 by clicking here.

For an example of a past toolkit, click here: https://cchealth.org/h3/coc/pdf/Homeless-Awarenes-Toolkit.pdf
Success Stories
When CORE homeless outreach found Bill (name changed to protect privacy), a homeless veteran living on the streets in Brentwood, they immediately reached out to SHELTER, Inc.  Alex Alexander, a Veteran Outreach Specialist at SHELTER, Inc., dropped what he was doing to meet Bill and immediately coordinated with the Brentwood police department to organize a ride for Bill to a local hotel. Within a day, the team had confirmed his eligibility status, enrolled him in a veteran specific program and secured him an emergency hotel room. With the help of SHELTER, Inc., Bill connected to medical care, found a job, and started the process with the Department of Veteran Affairs to apply for a HUD-VASH housing voucher. Thanks to the partnership between CORE, SHELTER, Inc., Brentwood police department, Contra Costa Health Services and the Department of Veteran Affairs, Bill now has a job, was approved for the HUD-VASH voucher and has moved into his own housing! 
Upcoming Meetings and Events
This CoC Learning Hub: "Shared Stories", will feature stories from people who have moved from homelessness to housing in Contra Costa and the people and agencies who helped them achieve their goals.

Save the date!
Thursday, November 19, 2020
1 pm - 3 pm
Meeting link to come
Join our next Council on Homelessness meeting.

Thursday, November 5
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Meeting link to come
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