On October 28, 2018, the City of Richmond declared a shelter crisis, finding that the health and safety of unhoused people is threatened by a lack of shelter. According to the Contra Costa County Homeless Continuum of Care 2018 Annual Report, that year, 1,119 persons lost their housing in the City of Richmond and 333 unsheltered people slept and lived in Richmond after becoming homeless.
The Contra Costa County Homeless Continuum of Care 2018 Annual Report compiles data from the Point in Time Count (PIT), Service data from Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), and consumer surveys and interviews. However, getting an accurate count of the homeless population is challenging because of the mobility of the population, the cyclical nature of homelessness, and the barriers to interviewing the homeless population.
We often get the question, “What is the City doing to combat homelessness?”
In general, the city can impact homelessness in several ways:
1. Set policies that encourage the development of affordable and low income housing;
2. Set policies to prevent residents from going into homelessness;
3. Collaborate with the Contra Costa Counties Continuum of Care (COC) to advocate, partner, support and expand resources for the unhoused in Richmond.
4. Enact policies and programs that address homelessness.
Additionally, the City of Richmond declared a shelter crisis on October 28, 2018 finding that the health and safety of unhoused people is threatened by a lack of shelter and the City passed a resolution declaring homelessness a public health emergency. These two resolutions allow the City an expanded range of options when looking towards both long term and temporary solutions for homelessness. The City of Richmond does not have a Health and Human Services department, but the City contracts with Contra Costa County Department of Health, Housing and Human Services (H3) to provide a Coordinated Outreach Referral Engagement (C.O.R.E) team to connect unsheltered people to the County’s Continuum of Care, the range of services provided to help people stay housed and access housing and services.