On January 15, 2020, the Board of the Coalition of Homeless Services Providers unanimously approved the release of the CHSP Position on Homeless Encampment Sweeps.


CHSP Position on Homeless Encampment Sweeps

Approved on January 15, 2020

The Coalition recognizes an individual’s basic need for shelter, safety and community. Additionally, the Coalition recognizes that without an adequate supply of housing too many people living with very low incomes have no local housing options other than living unsheltered. To address this reality of insufficient housing and shelter options, communities (housed and unhoused) along with service providers (public, non-profit, faith-based and voluntary) offer resources that aid in survival and address critical health and quality of life issues for those living unsheltered and in encampments.

It is acknowledged that many encampments in the region originate as a survival response by the community experiencing homelessness, many of whom are awaiting the opportunity to receive assistance. Due to the lack of affordable housing and shelter in the area, many people experiencing homelessness spend 6 months or more on various waiting lists. This lack of extremely affordable housing, permanent supportive housing, transitional housing and emergency shelter space exacerbates the housing crisis and too often forces local constituents without housing to form their own communities in the form of encampments.

The Coalition also recognizes the situation faced by local jurisdictions when encampments accumulate public health and safety hazards and constituents view homelessness as an unwelcome intrusion and ask that encampments be removed. In response to those concerns jurisdictions at times pursue clean-ups.

In this context the Coalition recognizes the legitimate need of jurisdictions for street cleaning in order to maintain public health and safety for the community. However, the Coalition has also observed that the frequency in which they are conducted has the potential to worsen and extend the vulnerability of the population living without housing. Too often, the clean-ups result in the loss of basic necessities for survival and quality of life, including items essential for living unsheltered, important documentation, medications and valued possessions. Furthermore, there are unintended consequences of these clean-ups, most notably the displacement of homeless individuals between jurisdictions and an adverse impact on the relationship between persons experiencing homelessness and the service providers who rely on the trust and respect of these communities.

It is the position of the Coalition that local jurisdictions, service providers and the community experiencing homelessness work together to create a more viable solution to the current encampment situation. This includes:

  • Public disclosure of the specific health and safety or policy concerns being addressed when clean-ups are scheduled
  • Provision of self-help resources that can support people living without housing to prevent the build-up of public health and hygiene risks (e.g., trash receptacles and hygiene resources such as low barrier, safe, and 24-hour accessible public restrooms and showers)
  • Advance notice of at least one week prior to a scheduled clean-up if self-help resources do not address the documented health and safety concerns;
  • Development of scheduled, coordinated encampment outreach efforts as partnership between jurisdictions, homeless service providers, public assistance, health services (public health, behavioral health and medical) and individuals with lived experience; and
  • Limiting the frequency of clean-ups, particularly when sufficient shelter to provide an alternative to encampment living is unavailable.

The Coalition is committed to coordinating resources to support bringing people experiencing homelessness into housing and to addressing the circumstances that leave too many of our neighbors unhoused. This includes:

  • Developing strategies, policies and resources for providers working to bring housing to all
  • Advocating for county-wide collaboration in pursuit of this mission
  • Developing a Coordinated Outreach and Resources for Encampments (CORE) team to respond to encampment concerns

The Coalition of Homeless Services Providers would like to formally invite the Monterey and San Benito County communities – public entities, private organizations and residents – to participate in creating and implementing a system that does not criminalize residents fulfilling their basic human needs, but extends a helping hand in recognition of the complexity of their situation.

This position paper is not intended to supersede the 2014 “Position on Temporary Homeless Encampments.”  


Coalition of Homeless Services Providers Appoints New Executive Officer


January 30, 2020

Seaside, California –

The Monterey/San Benito Counties Coalition of Homeless Services Providers is pleased to announce the selection of Roxanne Wilson as the Executive Officer. Ms. Wilson joined the Coalition in 2016 as a Data Analyst and has most recently served as the organization’s Program Manager.

During her years with the Coalition, Ms. Wilson spearheaded the implementation of the Coordinated Assessment and Referral System which serves as the gateway to available services, coordinated our region’s application for HUD funded homeless services, and has championed building a stronger network to bring support and housing to those living without a home throughout Monterey and San Benito Counties.

Ms. Wilson begins her service on February 3rd. Her predecessor, Elliott Robinson who served as the Interim Executive Officer through the recruitment will continue to volunteer with the Coalition in an advisory capacity.

Monterey/San Benito Counties Coalition of Homeless Services Providers (CHSP) is a group of private nonprofit and public organizations working together to address the complex issue of homelessness. Our mission is to “eliminate homelessness in Monterey and San Benito Counties by promoting interagency coordination to develop and sustain a comprehensive system of housing and support services designed to maximize the self-sufficiency of individuals and families.” The programs of CHSP and its member agencies alleviate the human deprivation caused by family and individual homelessness and prevent the continuation of conditions of extreme poverty by breaking the cycle of homelessness.



Media Contact:                      Elliott Robinson, Interim Executive Officer

Coalition of Homeless Services Providers

Telephone:                             831-883-3080


Monterey County, California (August 22, 2019):  The Coalition of Homeless Services Providers, with funding from the County of Monterey, conducted the biannual Point-in-Time Homeless Count on January 31, 2019 and the results are now available.  By regulation, the 2019 Homeless Census utilizes the definition used by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which only includes persons who are unsheltered, living in shelters and places not meant for human habitation – it does not include persons who are living in unstable housing, over-crowded housing or doubled up with others due to economic hardship.

The number of individuals counted in the general street and shelter count in Monterey County was 2,422.  This represents a decrease of 415 (14.6%) from the Homeless Census conducted in 2017. Factors that may have influenced the decline include:

  • An increase in the General Assistance grant available to homeless individuals from $133 per month to $340 per month, which took place August 2017;
  • The addition of new affordable housing opportunities that provide housing opportunities for low to moderate income seniors and families that otherwise may have struggled to find housing - Dai-Ichi Village (41 senior housing units), Hikari (50 family housing units), and Veteran Transition Center (22 permanent supportive housing units);
  • Expanded use of the Homeless Coordinated Assessment and Referral System which prioritizes housing resources for individuals and families with the greatest barriers – this process placed more than 300 people with high needs into housing since January 2017;
  • Implementation of the Whole Person Care initiative which provides intensive case management to homeless individuals with high cost health problems; and,
  • Shelter resources were expanded - the Salinas Warming Shelter converted to a year-round shelter, Interim Inc. added 13 crisis residential beds and Veterans Transition Center added 10 emergency shelter beds.

It is also important to acknowledge that the Homeless Census does not likely capture the complete extent of homelessness - the HUD mandated methodology requires that the street count portion of the Census be conducted as a visual count of homelessness on a single morning during the last ten days of January. This methodology is subject to a number of uncontrollable variables such as weather, availability of volunteers, and the visibility of individuals without housing. However, it is a consistent methodology mandated by HUD and employed in communities throughout the nation to provide a snapshot of this difficult to count population.

Of the 2,422 individuals experiencing homelessness counted in the Monterey County Homeless Census:

  • 24% were staying in shelters (either emergency shelters or transitional housing),
  • 22% were living on streets,
  • 19% were staying in vehicles,
  • 18% were staying in tent encampments,
  • 9% were staying in structures not intended for sleeping, and
  • 7% were staying in motels/hotels paid for by a homeless services agency.

The Homeless Census is supplemented with a survey which provides more detailed information to better assess the circumstances of residents experiencing homelessness. Notable findings include: a significant majority (78%) claim Monterey County as their residence prior to becoming homeless.  More than half of the respondents (55%) reported that the current episode of homelessness is the first time they’ve experienced loss of housing - up from 35% in 2017. Also, 59% reported that financial issues were the primary cause of homelessness, up from 43% in 2017.

The Homeless Census provides further information that informs efforts to address and prevent homelessness in our community:

  • The count of individuals experiencing homelessness declined from 2017 in most jurisdictions across the County. However, increases were counted in Seaside, Gonzales, Soledad, King City, Greenfield and North Monterey County communities of Prunedale and Pajaro;
  • 40% of people experiencing homelessness were 51 years or older, as compared to 23% in 2017. This reflects a growing challenge experienced by older people, more often living on fixed incomes, with paying the growing cost of housing;
  • There were 596 people living as members of a family with children experiencing homelessness – approximately 25% of the population as compared to 19% in 2017 (caution should be used in assessing this change, as only one of the County’s 24 school districts participated in the 2017 Census and ten school districts participated in the 2019 Census);
  • There were a total of 562 individuals chronically homeless individuals with one or more disabling conditions in 2019 – 23% of the homeless population, compared to 21% in 2017; and,
  • There were 172 veterans identified in the Census, this represents 7% of the homeless population – an increase from 4% counted in 2017.

As always, caution should be exercised in assessing the overall numbers in the Homeless Census count. As noted above, the mandated methodology cannot capture the full extent of homelessness in a community. However, it is a consistent process employed in communities throughout the nation to provide a snapshot of this difficult to count population.

After examining findings from the Homeless Census it is clear that homelessness remains a difficult issue in communities across Monterey County - with growing challenges in south and north county communities. The growth in the population over age 50, along with increased reports of first-time homelessness and financial issues as the primary cause of homelessness demonstrates the ongoing challenge of climbing housing costs impacting individuals living on fixed incomes or working in low wage jobs. The challenges associated with high rents and low vacancy rates for rental housing makes it difficult for people to find a unit even when they have income or rental assistance.

Coalition of Homeless Services Providers Interim Executive Officer Elliott Robinson states, “The decline in the number of people living without housing that was identified in the Homeless Census should for provide some cautious optimism that the focus of local and state leaders on addressing the homeless crisis is having an impact – but there is still a long way to go. Each community around the County impacted by people living on the streets, in encampments or in their cars remains focused on working towards ending homelessness among their residents. The findings from the Homeless Census which counted a decline doesn’t change the ongoing urgency to continue working towards long term solutions toward ending the cycle of homelessness in our community.

The Homeless Census will presented to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors on August 27th. You can read the full 2019 Homeless Census and find out more information about the Coalition of Homeless Services Providers at


To view the 2019 Homeless Census, click here.


The FY 2019 CoC Program Competition is Now Open

Notice of Monterey/San Benito County’s Continuum of Care (CoC) Application Process for US Dept. of HUD’s FY 2019 CoC Program Notification of Funding Availability (NOFA).


The US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued its Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for FY 2019 Continuum of Care (CoC) Homeless Assistance Programs on July 3rd, 2019. The funds will pay for housing and for supportive services for programs serving persons experiencing homelessness. The Monterey/San Benito County CoC’s Leadership Council and Collaborative Applicant, the Coalition of Homeless Services Providers, announce formation of a CoC Working Group that will assist over the next several weeks with the CoC’s and project applicants’ response to the NOFA.   NOTE: All local CoC Project Applications are due by August 14th, 2019.

A mandatory pre-proposal conference will be conducted at 10:00 a.m. on July 23rd, 2019 at 1942 Fremont Blvd, Seaside for all interested applicants. The deadline for the submittal of the Collaborative Application, Project Applications and Project Priority Listing is September 30th, 2019. Call the Coalition of Homeless Services Providers at (831) 883-3080 to participate, or for general information. All prospective applicants should read the NOFA and related materials, available at





Monterey/San Benito County Leadership Council
220 12th Street, Marina, CA  93933


Date: May 31, 2019

Contact: Katherine Thoeni/HEAP Administrative Entity, Coalition of Homeless Services Providers

Telephone:  831-883-3080


Monterey/San Benito Counties, California—On May 29, 2019, the Leadership Council approved almost $12 million dollars of HEAP support to fund 12 homeless projects throughout Monterey and San Benito Counties. Local programs supported by the grants offer a variety of housing and services including youth programs, emergency shelter construction/rehabilitation and operating funds, capital improvements, transitional housing, rental assistance programs, housing navigation, street outreach and permanent supportive housing.

The Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) was established by statute by the State of California Business, Consumer Housing Agency to provide California Homeless Continuums of Care (CoC) with flexible grant funds to address immediate homelessness challenges.  The Leadership Council (LC) serves as the local Homeless CoC Care Board of Directors and is responsible for setting HEAP priorities and approving projects.  LC membership representation includes, but is not limited to; public officials, philanthropy, youth, veterans, faith communities, affordable housing developers,  housing advocacy groups, the Housing Authority, community members and county departments such as the Department of Health and Department of Social Services.  Through the LC, the Coalition of Homeless Services Providers (CHSP) serves as the local designated CoC representative and HEAP program Administrative Entity.

Katherine Thoeni, the Executive Officer of the Coalition of Homeless Services Providers had this to say, “Monterey and San Benito Counties join other Continuums of Care throughout California in thanking the State of California Business, Consumer Housing Agency for these precious resources. The grants awarded will assist homeless individuals and families receive the assistance needed in order to achieve self-sufficiency.” She went on to add, “Continued and expanded support of homeless efforts are critically needed in our community.”

A full listing of approved project immediately follows:

San Benito County

San Benito County Housing Navigation and Rapid Rehousing Assistance


San Benito Youth Alliance Combination of emergency shelter vouchers, outreach/engagement and counseling


San Benito County Street Outreach Program throughout San Benito County


San Benito County Increase inventory through 14 new transitional tiny homes




Monterey County

Community Human Services Youth Street Outreach Program, substance abuse counseling, family reunification/emergency shelter/transitional housing.

Anticipates 20% will obtain permanent housing.

$ 857,331
Community Human Services in partnership with the Gathering for Women Capital improvements for new emergency shelter located at 1292 Olympia Ave., Seaside.   38 beds for women and children. $1,287,658
Community Homeless Solutions Capital improvements for 14 family transitional housing units to be converted to permanent supportive housing


Salinas/Monterey County To build (construction) new homeless emergency shelter in for single women men and families. Will have space to store minimal belongings and accommodations for pets. $6,018,100
Central Coast Center for Independent Living (CCCIL) Combination of rental assistance (six month maximum), move in costs, application fees, utility arrears payments, landlord mitigation. $579,250
Housing Resource Center Combination of rental assistance (6 month max), move in costs, case management and landlord mitigation. $310,000
Salinas/Monterey County Operating and supportive services for current Salinas Warming Shelter otherwise scheduled for closure. $395,822
Community Human Services Operating and supportive services for new emergency shelter located in Seaside. $300,000





Notice of Monterey/San Benito County’s Continuum of Care (CoC) Application Process for Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) 2019 Notification of Funding Availability (NOFA).

On behalf of the Leadership Council, the Coalition of Homeless Services Providers (CHSP) issued its Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) on February 8, 2019.  Eligible activities include; expansion of homeless bed inventory through new emergency shelters, warming shelters, transitional, permanent or other homeless housing; operating and/or supportive services for new homeless beds; rental assistance, rapid rehousing, eviction prevention and/or move-in assistance; street outreach programs; health and safety education services; criminal justice diversion programs; housing navigation services; landlord mitigation programs; targeted case management and other related activities.  NOTE: All local HEAP Project Applications are due by 5:00 p.m., April 1, 2019. A mandatory pre-proposal conference will be conducted at from 1:00 to 3:00 on February 28, 2019 at 220 12th Street, Marina for all interested applicants. Applications received from organizations that do not attend pre-proposal conference will not be considered for funding. All prospective applicants are encouraged to thoroughly read the full NOFA and related application materials, available at in the “CoC Funding-HEAP” section. Call the Coalition of Homeless Services Providers at (831) 883-3080 to for general information.





Monterey/San Benito Counties, California—On January 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded almost $2 million dollars in funding to Monterey and San Benito County homeless programs. Local programs supported by the grants offer a variety of housing and services including street outreach, transitional housing, rental assistance programs and permanent supportive housing.

Grants were awarded to 7 local agencies to help support a variety of homeless programs.  HUD awardees are: San Benito County Health and Human Services, Community Homeless Solutions, Interim, Inc., MidPen Housing Corporation, Community Human Services, the Housing Authority of the County of Monterey and the Veterans Transition Center. 

 Katherine Thoeni, the Executive Officer of the Coalition of Homeless Services Providers had this to say, “Monterey and San Benito Counties join other Continuums of Care throughout the Nation in thanking HUD for continuing support of our programs.  The grants awarded will assist homeless Veterans, youth, families, individuals, chronically homeless, families in recovery and those with serious mental illness.” She went on to add, “Continued and expanded support of homeless efforts are critically needed in our community.”

Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for FY 2019-20 HUD Entitlement CDBG, HOME & ESG FUNDING; and HCD FY 2019 ESG


(Posted December 22, 2018)


Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)

For FY 2019-20 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Entitlement CDBG, HOME & ESG FUNDING; and

State of California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) FY 2019 ESG;


The City of Salinas (City) is preparing its FY 2019-20 Annual Action Plan (AAP) to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) entitlement funding. The estimated entitlement CDBG, HOME and ESG grant amounts that the City may receive from HUD is uncertain, but in recent years averages $1.9 million in CDBG funds to address community development needs, $549,000 in HOME funds for affordable housing activities and $163,000 for ESG to address homeless services. The 2019-20 fiscal year program year runs July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.

Eligible activities for entitlement CDBG funding must meet one of the following national objectives: 1) principally benefit low- and moderate- income persons, 2) eliminate slums and blight, and 3) meet an urgent need. The types of projects and programs which may be considered for funding, subject to national objectives compliance, are summarized as follows: Acquisition and/or disposition of real property, construction and rehabilitation of publicly owned facilities, improvements to public and privately owned buildings, to make them accessible to people with disabilities, and infrastructure improvements to include sidewalks, street, drainage, and water and sewer systems. Also included are rehabilitation of public or privately owned housing for low- and moderate-income households, demolition and clearance to abate health hazards, public services that are new or expanding and are directed toward meeting a community service need (no more than 15% of the City’s CDBG funds can be utilized each year for public service programs) and interim assistance or temporary help to alleviate harmful or dangerous conditions. CDBG sub-recipients must be public or private non-profit organizations.

The entitlement HOME program provides funding for a wide range of activities including; but not limited to, construction, buying, and/or rehabilitation of affordable housing for rent or homeownership or providing direct rental assistance to low-income households.

The entitlement ESG program provides funds for a variety of activities to address homelessness as authorized under the federal HEARTH act of 2009. The federal ESG program provides grant funding for the following purposes: to (1) engage homeless individuals and families living on the street; (2) rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families; (3) help operate and provide essential services in emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families; and (4) prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless.

Please note that FY 2019-20 is the second year of the City’s two-year entitlement funding cycle for CDBG and ESG public services that began in FY 2018-19. The City will automatically extend annual awards to FY 2019-20 for CDBG and ESG public service activities made in the prior FY 2018-19 on the condition that recipients are exhibiting satisfactory performance. No new agencies will be funded in this application cycle for public service activities and entitlement ESG Funding. Should the City receive additional or less entitlement CDBG and ESG funding for FY 2019-20, the City may adjust funding amounts accordingly. Public service funding cannot exceed 15% of the CDBG annual allocation. In FY 2018-19, approximately $313,000 was available for CDBG public service funding.

Applications must address the goals of the City’s Consolidated Plan, the primary objective of which is developing a viable community by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, principally for persons of lower income (i.e., households with incomes not exceeding 80% of the median income), as well as the City Council’s goals. Awarded entitlement applications for CDBG, HOME and ESG are expected to begin on July 1, 2019.

The City is also preparing its application for the FY 2019-20 State of California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) ESG allocation to be submitted in June 2019. The proposed FY 2019-20 HCD allocation to the CoC - CA 506, Salinas/Monterey, San Benito Counties, CA Continuum of Care (CoC) is uncertain at this time, but last year’s allocation was $298,831.

Non-entitlement HCD ESG activities must meet State program requirements. HCD administers the ESG program with funding received from HUD. Approved applications are anticipated to be awarded by December 2019. Award and funding date are subject to change based on HCD’s executed contract with the City.

A mandatory workshop will be held Thursday, January 10, 2019, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the City Hall Rotunda (200 Lincoln Avenue) to assist applicants with the NOFA and on-line application process. For accommodation for persons with disabilities and language interpreter request, please contact the Community Development Department - Housing Division by January 7, 2019.


The deadline for submitting complete applications in City Data Services (CDS) for FY 2019-20 funding is 4 p.m., Monday, February 11, 2019.

The NOFA application will be available online starting on January 7, 2019, (login and password SAL2019 for new applicants).

Reference copies of the NOFA may be reviewed at the Community Development Department office, Housing Division, 65 W. Alisal St., 2nd Floor, Salinas; the City Clerk’s office at 200 Lincoln Avenue; the John Steinbeck Library; and Cesar Chavez Library. Spanish translation of the document is available upon request. For information on the NOFA process, please contact Housing Division staff at (831) 758-7334 or Hablamos español. TDD users may contact the City through the California Relay Service at 711.

Homeless Emergency Assistance Program (HEAP) Public Meetings


Monterey/San Benito Counties Homeless Continuum of Care
220 12th Street, Marina, CA 93933

On any given day, upwards of 3,000 men, women and children in Monterey and San Benito Counties struggle to navigate the maze from homelessness to self-sufficiency. Our local homeless Continuum of Care has been afforded a rare opportunity to greatly strengthen the homeless support system through a State of California grant known as the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP). Eligible project activities are intentionally broad to encourage the local community to determine its own unique priorities.

The community is encouraged to attend one of four public meetings to discuss and provide valuable input to develop solutions and priorities.

Monday, November 5, 2018
6:00 -8:00 P.M.
Salinas Police Activity League
100 Howard Street, Salinas 93901
Additional parking at Permit Center Garage at 65 West Alisal Street

Monterey Peninsula
Thursday, November 8, 2018
6:00-8:00 P.M.
Oldemyer Center-Laguna Grande Hall
986 Hilby Avenue, Seaside

South Monterey County
Friday, November 9, 2018
6:00-8:00 P.M.
Civic Center Council Chambers
599 El Camino Real, Greenfield

North Monterey County
Friday, November 30, 2018
6:00-8:00 P.M.
Japanese School House
1119 Geil Street, Castroville

All meetings will be conducted in English and Spanish. Please contract Katherine at 831-883-3080 or for additional information.

Coalition of Homeless Services Providers Endorses Prop 1 & Prop 2






"The state’s affordable housing and homelessness crisis affects our neighborhoods and quality of life as Californians. We need not look any further than our neighborhoods, streets and local parks to see the human devastation of homelessness and the strain the crisis takes on our public safety resources and emergency rooms. The struggle to find an affordable home may affect someone you know - a family member, coworker, a veteran returning from service to your community or an older parent on a fixed income. By supporting the Veterans and Affordable Housing Act, you can help build affordable homes for veterans, struggling families and children, people with disabilities and Californians experiencing homelessness in your community and support a healthier economy."

The Coalition of Homeless Services Providers supports and endorses Props 1 & 2. Join us in the fight to bring safe, affordable housing to our communities by clicking here.