FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer is heading to Sacramento on Friday to fight for the third round of Homelessness Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) grants.
This comes after Governor Newsom announced he is pausing the funds because of a lack of results in some California cities.
Dyer says Fresno is not one of them.
“We reduced our homeless population by 13% as well as a projected 8%. So, a 21% reduction over that two-year period is really good. Two years ago we had right around 3,400 unsheltered people in our community and today we have 1,700,” Dyer said.
Dyer said Fresno was set to receive $7.5 million but so far they’ve only been given $1.5 million. That money has gone towards things like project Homekey in which the city purchased 5 motels for emergency housing and services.
“Those motels are still going to be operated as emergency motels. We still have funding available to provide those services,” he said.
According to the Office of the Governor, the plans result in just a 2% decrease in homelessness over four years statewide, a number Newsom says is too low. Dyer says it takes a combined effort.
“It is important that the Governor recognizes this is a shared responsibility,” he said.
Dyer said further funds from the state would likely be used for affordable housing projects, which he says is the next problem the city is trying to tackle.
“The more housing we can build, the more opportunity it is for the homeless population transitioning out of the shelters to have a permanent place to stay so they don’t end up back on the street,” he said.