Kaiser expands homelessness efforts with another $3 million

Kaiser Permanente on Monday pledged $3 million to fight
homelessness in several Northern California communities, expanding
the healthcare giant’s efforts to eradicate the crisis that has
swept through its hometown of Oakland and beyond.

Kaiser will partner with Community Solutions’ Built for Zero
Initiative, a program that uses data to help local leaders better
understand their homeless populations. Kaiser’s funds will go
toward communities across the U.S. — including Contra Costa,
Marin, Santa Cruz, Sacramento, Fresno and Madera counties.

Kaiser already has contributed millions toward housing the
homeless, mostly in its own backyard. The company contributed $6
million toward the
Keep Oakland Housed initiative
last year, and has helped
support Oakland’s efforts to temporarily house homeless residents
in
converted Tuff Sheds
. In January, Kaiser said it would
spend $5.2 million to buy a 41-unit apartment building
in
Oakland to house the city’s homeless and at-risk residents. And
last year Kaiser
pledged to invest $200 million over three to five years
in
affordable housing and supportive services across the country.

“Living without a home can have a dramatic impact on a
person’s health, yet many of the communities we serve are
grappling with extreme rates of housing insecurity and
homelessness,” Dr. Bechara Choucair, Kaiser’s chief community
health officer, wrote in a
news release
. “We know there is no simple solution to such a
complex problem, but through strategic partnerships, such as the
one with Community Solutions, we believe it can be solved.”

Kaiser announced its latest push against homelessness at the
annual South by Southwest music, art and technology conference in
Austin, Texas.

Sandra Scherer, executive director of the Concord-based Monument
Crisis Center, was enthusiastic about Kaiser’s contribution.

“Great news that Kaiser is putting a spotlight on this very
critical issue in our community,” she wrote in an email.

Monument has 950 homeless clients, including seniors and
families with children. Thousands more Monument clients barely have
a roof over their heads, Scherer wrote. Many can’t afford the
basics — food, housing, healthcare and transportation.

People experiencing homelessness stay in
hospitals longer because there isn’t a safe place for them to go
afterward. Medical respite can help the homeless maintain
medications, get stable, and get housed, says @BobbyWatts6@NatlHCHCouncil
at
#HousingForHealth

#SXSW

— Kaiser Permanente (@KPShare)
March 11, 2019

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Monday’s announcement is the latest step in Kaiser’s ongoing
effort to tackle homelessness as a public health issue. Mortality
rates among chronically homeless people are three to four times
that of the general population, according to the company’s news
release.

In addition to several California locations, Kaiser funds also
will flow to communities including Denver, Atlanta, Washington,
D.C. and Honolulu.

“We are thrilled to work with Kaiser Permanente to accelerate
Built for Zero in these communities,” Community Solutions
president Rosanne Haggerty wrote in the release. “Together, we
will use data and analytics to help these communities adopt the
tools they need to end homelessness and address the conditions that
create it.”

.@choucair
shares at
#HousingForHealth
a partnership with @cmtysolutions
to help accelerate efforts to end chronic homelessness in 15
communities within Kaiser Permanente’s national footprint.
https://t.co/U1zASh0zSw

— Kaiser Permanente (@KPShare)
March 11, 2019

Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
Kaiser expands homelessness efforts with another million