One of the most fundamental causes of homelessness is lack of affordable housing across the state. Federal funding priorities target resources toward emergency shelter, Rapid Rehousing, Permanent Supportive Housing, and other supportive services. The reality is that there are more people in need of housing and services than both the current system can address, and that current and anticipated federal government funding can cover.
The homeless system of care is structured to help the most vulnerable people who are unable to retain stable housing on their own. Yet, there is a growing population of people experiencing homelessness for the first time who do not necessarily need the kinds of supportive services that the homeless system provides (case management, life skills training, mental health services). They are at risk of homelessness or are experiencing homelessness simply because they cannot afford the rising rents or mortgage payments in California. These individuals and families are more able to self-resolve or resolve their housing crises with limited support.
The services that such individuals and families can benefit from – prevention and diversion services – lack sufficient funding to meet the need. When the resources are available, there is limited monitoring or analysis of the outcomes for households receiving referrals and services.