Place residence

County supervisors allocate $1 million to ensure completion of Paul’s Place

Paul’s Place has moved one step closer to completion by this summer.

The Yolo County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday to allocate up to $1 million in U.S. bailout funds, matching a similar allocation from Davis City Council, to fill a funding shortfall that threatened the completion of the innovative project currently under construction on H Street.

Paul’s Place is a community project initially funded by private donations and grants, including a $2.5 million matching grant from Sutter Health.

When complete, it will provide emergency shelter, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing overseen by Davis Community Meals and Housing.

Land was laid on the project over the summer and has been proceeding apace since then, but unforeseen construction and labor costs hampered completion plans in July.

Funds were expected to run out in the spring, prompting backers to seek $2 million in funds from the city and county to fill the gap.

In December, the Davis City Council voted unanimously to dedicate up to $1 million in ARP funds and the Board of Supervisors followed suit this week.

The council previously approved an ARP spending plan that included $7.5 million for housing and homelessness projects with funding for Paul’s Place given an early review.

Named after the father of DCMH Executive Director Bill Pride, Paul’s Place is the first vertical village of tiny houses of its kind that will provide shelter to dozens of homeless people each year along with an array of support services.

When completed, the project will provide:

* Four emergency accommodation beds, staff offices, dining room and kitchen, laundry, bathrooms and resource center on the first floor;
* 10 single-occupant transitional rooms with kitchen, laundry room, living room, bathrooms and common offices on the second floor; and
* Nine permanent single-occupant micro support units on each of the third and fourth floors (18 micro units total).

The project has been in the works for several years. Among those who helped make this possible were local business owners Reed and Susan Youmans, who paid for a feasibility study to see if there was enough community support and then led the effort to Fund raising ; Partnership Health Plan, which provided a $750,000 grant; Maria Ogrydziak, the nationally renowned Davis architect, who designed the project; the hundreds of Davis residents, businesses and organizations who have contributed financially; and Sutter Health, which provided the $2.5 million matching grant.

“We’ve worked hard over the last few years to raise funds,” Pride told the city council in December, “then COVID hit and, of course, our costs increased dramatically.

According to a report prepared for the oversight board, it wasn’t just COVID that caused a funding shortfall.

Analysis by Kitchell, a construction consultant, said the initial construction estimate in January 2018 was wrong, leading “Paul’s Place to unknowingly use an incorrect figure for its construction budget, which resulted in an underfunded project from the start.”

That said, Kitchell estimated the need for additional funds at around $1.84 million. County staff recommended that the costs be split equally between the county and the city of Davis through the use of ARP funds.

With funding awarded by the board on Tuesday, Paul’s Place appears to be back on track for completion this summer.

Under the same agenda item on Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors also approved an ARP funding allocation to serve the homeless community of West Sacramento.

That city had requested $2.6 million to buy and operate a motel in West Sacramento that will extend the Roomkey project — which provided shelter for the homeless during the pandemic — for three years.

The city will acquire an approximately 25-bedroom property, make necessary improvements to the site, and work with the Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency to secure contracts to operate what will be a temporary housing program for the homeless. -shelter currently participating in the Project Roomkey program.

“The proposed motel acquisition will allow the county to consolidate motel rooms currently leased to private parties in two different motel locations, and at a much lower cost per room/participant,” county staff reported.

Funding for the overall program will be split equally between the City of West Sacramento and the county.

County staff said the program will be an important source of transitional housing for homeless people, many of whom will eventually become tenants of an 87-unit permanent supportive housing project being built on West Capitol Avenue.

The Board of Supervisors also voted on Tuesday to allocate $450,000 in ARP funds to allow West Sacramento to extend its Downtown Streets Team program for three years.

Since 2018, West Sacramento has contracted with the nonprofit organization, which operates a unique work experience program for homeless and at-risk individuals in several California cities.

“The goal of DST’s program model is to reduce homelessness by restoring dignity and preparing participants for employment,” noted county staff. “Under the program, homeless participants are part of a ‘team’ that carries out community beautification and maintenance activities in exchange for receiving case management services (counselling and orientation), employment support services and financial rewards for basic needs in the form of rent allowances or gift cards.

DST activities are carried out during the day and include tasks such as picking up trash, removing graffiti, and helping clean up homeless encampments.

“DST is designed to work in inner-city neighborhoods to reduce the incidence of begging and other visible effects of homelessness while simultaneously improving these areas and providing the unprotected with a path to stability. housing and employment,” county staff said.

In West Sacramento, DST activities focused on areas near motels that were used by Project Roomkey, in part to reduce the impacts of these homeless housing programs on the surrounding central business district.

A number of City of Davis business owners have expressed interest in bringing the Downtown Streets team to Davis as well and have urged the city to use ARP funds to do so.

— Contact Anne Ternus-Bellamy at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @ATernusBellamy.