Napa County receives grant for homeless services

Homeless encampment

The Napa County Health and Human Services Agency has received a grant intended for alleviating chronic homelessness.

The $11.3 million Whole Person Care Pilot grant is from the state's Department of Health Care Services. Napa County will receive $2.26 million a year for five years.

The goal of the Whole Person Care Pilot is to develop coordinated systems of care that address homelessness and the risk of becoming homeless, and reducing money spent on emergency response, hospitalization and other costs, according to the Health and Human Services Agency.

The components of the Whole Person Care Pilot also include working with landlords to provide housing.

"This grant represents a dramatic investment in the services that are crucial to community efforts to end chronic homelessness," Health and Human Services Agency director Howard Himes said in a statement.

The grant will create four new Napa County positions that provide administrative support for the program, Health and Human Services Agency Chief Deputy Director Mitch Wippern said.

About $560,000 of the annual $2.2 million will go toward administration management, compliance and billing and the rest to delivery of services for the homeless, Wippern said.

The grant has funding for approximately 12 positions in one or more non-profit organizations with which the county likely will contract for outreach and case management, Wippern said.

Napa County's point-in-time homeless count in 2016 was 316, Wippern said.

Of that number, 198 people were sheltered and 118 were unsheltered, Wippern said. Napa County has a 20-bed family shelter, a 65-bed adult shelter and a 55-bed, seasonal winter shelter, Wippern said.

Medic-Cal beneficiaries with a high use of health care systems who still have poor health outcomes are a particularly vulnerable group of the population, according to the Department of Health Care Services.