Tackling the Cycle of Homelessness

Understanding the connection between an individual’s access to safe and reliable housing and overall physical health, NorthBay Healthcare in 2021 supported a trio of ambitious programs aimed to eliminate the harmful cycle of homelessness.

Solano Dream Center

A collaboration of local churches, this nomadic sheltering program in Fairfield takes in homeless individuals and provides shelter, food and personal hygiene services. The nonprofit organization accepts individuals referred from other churches and agencies, including local hospitals. Homeless patients discharged after receiving emergency services are placed in nomadic shelter until they find alternative housing.

NorthBay Healthcare provided $55,000 in financial assistance to operate the nomadic shelter year-round in 2021.

In 2021, the Solano Dream Center reported the following measurable results:

  • Total patients accepted from NorthBay Healthcare – 171;
  • Total community referrals – 380;
  • Participants placed in housing – 165;
  • Participant referrals to outside agencies for further assistance – 65; and
  • Total financial support to the Dream Center in 2021 totaled $55,000.

Opportunity House

This shelter, operating under the auspices of Vacaville Solano Services Corporation (VSSC), is the leading homeless advocacy organization in Vacaville. It has provided safe temporary housing and a sober work-to-housing program to homeless individuals and families since 1990. It offers four comprehensive programs serving homeless adults and families (Opportunity House), homeless children living with their parents at our shelter (Children’s Health & Wellness), homeless and at-risk youth (My Friend’s House), and most recently, chronically unsheltered individuals (Vacaville Warming Shelter).

In 2021, it partnered with the Desmond Bishop Foundation to serve homeless and at-risk youth through My Friend’s House and the Bishop Foundation’s youth sports complex program.

In addition to a $30,000 grant, NorthBay Healthcare also supported the daily operation of the adult shelter by providing drug screening kits to test new arrivals, a condition of the sober work-to-housing program. Total cost of the 600 donated kits was $4,106.

In 2021, the My Friend’s House youth programs had several successes:

  • It created an outreach program to at-risk children in the Vacaville Unified School District on the Vacaville High School campus, serving 78 young people through outreach efforts and its nine-week Youth Rising program for eighth- and ninth-graders.
  • It partnered with the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District to provide outreach services, benefitting eight at-risk youngsters, at Armijo High School.
  • It completed planning on its homeless youth shelter in Vacaville, an eight-bed facility scheduled to open in February 2022.

Vallejo Navigation Center

To provide emergency shelter and homeless wrap-around services, the city of Vallejo plans to open a full-service navigation center for the homeless. NorthBay Healthcare committed $200,000 to help cover operational costs in the first three years of operation.

From 2019-2020, $150,000 of that commitment was provided.

The navigation center was originally scheduled to open in 2021 and initiate its full range of services by midyear. The center was to provide access to temporary housing and wrap-around services to support men and women living unsheltered in Vallejo. The center is designed as a “one-stop shop” for services that are critical to help address some of the core causes of homelessness.

NorthBay remains committed to provide an additional $50,000 grant for the program. In 2021, however, no funding was provided when Vallejo encountered insurmountable hurdles in acquiring its selected site. Though it purchased the modular buildings, it was unable to move forward and soon began a search for a new site.

During 2021, NorthBay leaders remained engaged in the planning process, regularly meeting with Vallejo staff working to locate a new site and create the programming that will commence upon the navigation center’s opening, hopefully in early 2024.