Westminster Eyes New Funds to Aid Homeless

Westminster city officials Wednesday will consider new funding for a homeless prevention and rehousing program.

The proposed Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Program (HPRP) would support services already provided by the city’s police department and existing Family Resource Center, which offers health, education and other aids to homeless and low-income families.

According to a city staff report, homeless services are in the greatest demand at family resource centers across the county, but only limited funds are available. The Westminster School District recently reported it had 1,722 homeless children in the district.

If a grant application for funding from the County of Orange is approved, the program would provide additional temporary assistance to families that have open cases at the Family Resource Center. For example, families displaced by a residential fire could receive assistance to pay for a motel or security deposit on an apartment.

The city also is anticipating $14.3 million in revenue from its housing successor agency over the next several years, a repayment by the state as part of a 2009-2010 program that shifted money from its housing agency to schools.

Each year $250,000 from those funds would be allocated to a full-time administrative position for homeless prevention and partially fund two existing police department positions that do outreach to homeless individuals and at-risk youth.

According to the staff report, the homeless program would be a display of commitment to homeless services that would strengthen the city’s application for county funding.

Wednesday’s council meeting begins at 7 p.m. Read the full agenda here.

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