San Bernardino City Council will discuss authorizing $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act

San Bernardino City Council will discuss authorizing $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act
Photo by Jon Tyson / Unsplash

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

The San Bernardino City Council is set to authorize $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to develop a 140-bed homeless shelter in the city. The council will discuss the proposal at a special meeting on Wednesday night. The facility will provide 140 interim housing beds and 30 semi-private emergency shelter beds on Lutheran Social Services of Southern California (LSS) property located at 1354 North G Street.

During a homeless workshop held on October 27, 2022, the Mayor and City Council agreed that there was a need to expand shelter bed capacity for the homeless population in the city. On December 7, 2022, the Council approved the allocation of $5 million in ARPA funds to LSS for the development of shelter beds and case management. According to city documents, the total development cost is $35 million.

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Provides Social Services

LSS is a non-profit organization that provides social services and support to those in need, including mobile shower and laundry services, emergency shelters, transitional housing, and case management. The organization has previously partnered with the City on initiatives to tackle homelessness.

Out of the $5 million in ARPA funds, $1 million will be used to provide onsite supportive services such as job training and placement, housing navigation, and case management to help residents maintain permanent housing and employment, as outlined in the plan.

Addressing the homeless crisis in San Bernardino

The proposed homeless shelter is a much-needed solution to the homeless crisis in San Bernardino, where an estimated 1,500 people are experiencing homelessness on any given night. The shelter will provide a safe and secure environment for individuals and families who are struggling with homelessness and will also offer access to critical resources and services.

The City Council's decision to allocate ARPA funds to tackle homelessness is a positive step towards addressing the issue. The American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law by President Joe Biden in March 2021, providing $1.9 trillion in economic stimulus and relief measures to help individuals, businesses, and communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The special meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 26, at the Norman Feldheym Library, located at 555 W. Sixth Street. The proposed homeless shelter is a crucial development in the fight against homelessness in San Bernardino, and it is hoped that the Council will approve the allocation of funds for the project.

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