The Tulare County Homeless Initiative Program and the Kings/Tulare Homeless Alliance (the local Continuum of Care) have received a Merit Award from the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) for their interagency platform providing a one-stop-shop platform to access homeless funding, called the Pool for Homeless Initiatives Locally, or PHIL.
“Because resources for homeless programs are especially limited in smaller jurisdictions like Tulare County, it is critical we make the most of every dollar we have,” says Homeless Initiatives Program Coordinator Chaz Felix. “Through our ongoing partnership with the Kings/Tulare Homeless Alliance, PHIL has allowed us to leverage local resources, which has made possible several new and exciting local homeless projects.”
PHIL streamlines access to a wide range of homeless funds, including new County Mental Health funding through the Homeless Mentally Ill Outreach and Treatment program, through a one-stop application for interested stakeholders. Typically, stakeholders must navigate several different types of funding sources and different administrators, with project applications that are narrow in focus, thereby making funding projects a challenging endeavor. With PHIL, applicants can easily layer different funding sources for a single project, thereby promoting more efficient and comprehensive efforts and an increase in the overall impact of homeless projects.
As a part of an organizational commitment to promoting racial equity, all applicants to PHIL are eligible for bonus points for completing a racial equity analysis, and all awardees are required to complete “Racial Equity 101” training as a condition of funding. Bonus points are also allocated to projects using more than one funding source.
Each year, the CSAC Challenge Awards spotlight the most innovative programs developed by California’s Counties. This year, there were 284 entries resulting in two Innovation Awards, 16 Challenge Awards, and 33 Merit Awards. Winners are selected from rural, suburban, and urban counties in each category, including Administration of Justice & Public Safety; Agriculture, Environmental & Natural Resources; Government Finance, Administration & Technology; Health & Human Services; and Housing, Land Use & Infrastructure.