After more than two decades of service to Napa’s homeless, the Hope Center will close its doors July 19, at the United Methodist Church. Daytime services will transition to the South Napa Shelter starting June 16.
“The church has been an incredible partner in serving vulnerable people in our city over the past 20 years,” Mayor Jill Techel said. “They have exemplified commitment to community. This change is part of a larger City of Napa and Napa County plan to improve and enhance the current system of care serving people who are experiencing homelessness.”
The Hope Center serves about 60 clients daily. Most are locals who are homeless with physical and behavioral health challenges. Many report living in and around the Napa River area for prolonged periods – in many cases, years. The South Napa Shelter location offers better proximity to connect this vulnerable population with much needed services.
Napa County is required each year by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to conduct a single-day count of people experiencing homelessness. This means people who are staying in places not meant for human habitation -- like cars and encampments -- a safe haven, or an emergency shelter. According to Napa’s single-day count, there were about 154 people experiencing unsheltered homelessness.
The Napa County homeless system provides drop-in center resources and financial assistance for critical family needs, to short- and long-term housing assistance.
Other components to this homeless system transformation include:
•Keeping lower needs individuals and families from entering the shelter system;
•Getting residents currently living in parks, along the riverbanks or in their cars connected to housing;
•Ensuring clients remain connected with services to sustain their housing and avoid returning to homelessness; and
•Increasing the overall amount of housing stock available for clients through dedicated landlord engagement.
“We very much appreciate the church’s leadership and commitment to service,” said Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht. “Consolidation of daytime and overnight services to the South Napa Shelter will result in both easier access to services for residents experiencing homelessness and a more efficient use of taxpayer and philanthropic resources. This is about serving people in our community in the best way possible.”
Photo courtesy HomelessofNapa.org