How to Develop a Shelter For the Unhoused Community

How can we develop a homeless shelter? How can we address the needs of the unhoused community?  Who can help us in local government? How can we approach oppositional neighbors? What resources are out there? Where do we start?

What is an example of building a homeless outreach center/facility?

Put simply, developing a community facility is difficult. Yet the benefits they offer can be transformational. To get at some of these questions, CCEDA has developed two case studies on successful community facility projects in San Luis Obispo and San Benito Counties.

Both projects highlight how passionate local advocates worked with local government, community members, and the business community to develop transformational projects that offer critical, lifesaving shelter and health services to the most underserved individuals and families.

  • Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO) — 40 Prado
    • In San Luis Obispo, the Community Action Partnership of SLO (CAPSLO) achieved a decades-long dream of developing a homeless service center. 40 Prado offers day and night shelter services, and expands CAPSLO’s ability to meet community needs. This case study specifically details how CAPSLO worked closely with policymakers to clear red tape, addressed 11th-hour concerns from neighboring property owners, and built a diverse coalition of advocates for the project.
  • County of San Benito Department of Health and Human Services — HOME Center
    • In Hollister, the San Benito County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) utilized a creative mix of financing to develop the HOME Center, the first homeless service center of its kind in the area. Through this process, HHSA positioned the county as a leader in innovative approaches to comprehensively addressing both homelessness and health care in rural communities.

Case studies include historical context for each project, and in-depth overviews of project/concept development, business planning, political strategy, financing and funding, public outreach, and fund development.

These guides are intended for use by community development practitioners considering development of community service center and homeless shelter projects. Projects include shelters for individuals and families facing homelessness, as well as various supportive services. These guides include best practices for planning and developing both day and night shelters. Supportive services include health care, counseling, workforce development, job training, nutrition programs, and other essential services.

CCEDA thanks CAPSLO and San Benito HHSA for working with us to produce these important case studies. CCEDA also thanks the CA State Department of Community Services and Development for funding this important effort.

For Technical Assistance and more help, please visit our Technical Assistance page for requests.

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