California grants $907M for 'bridge housing,' behavioral health support

California governor Gavin Newsom plans to allocate $907 million for a new initiative to provide housing for homeless individuals with severe behavioral health issues. 

The Behavioral Health Bridge Housing program will provide "bridge housing" such as tiny homes, interim housing, rental assistance programs and assisted living settings, according to a Feb. 22 release on the governor's website. 

"Accessing behavioral health services and maintaining a connection to treatment while unsheltered poses significant challenges," Mark Ghaly, MD, California HHS secretary, said in the release. "This flexible program will allow for the creation of new, deeply supportive housing settings that will help Californians who are struggling the most to find safety, stability, and a path to longer term housing stability and recovery."

Housing in the program must have voluntary supportive services to help participants obtain and maintain housing, manage symptoms of serious behavioral health conditions, and support recovery and wellness.

Seventy-five percent of funding must be used on bridge housing in order to apply. Remaining funds can be used on flexible funding categories of program administration, outreach, engagement and bridge housing start-up infrastructure.

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