Millions committed for innovative Homeless Veterans Housing Project in Novato

Homeward Bound has support from the State, County of Marin, City of Novato and the Marin Community Foundation for their bold housing project which will help end veteran homelessness in Marin County

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Sacramento, CA – The State of California has announced a $3 million investment in Homeward Bound of Marin’s homeless veterans housing project. With this funding - along with a commitment by the County of Marin for $2 million and the Marin Community Foundation for another $2 million - massive progress has been made to end veteran homelessness in Marin County by building a groundbreaking 50 unit housing community in the City of Novato.

“We have been working with Homeward Bound, Mayor Athas, the City of Novato and Sean Stephens, Marin’s Veterans Services Officer, on this innovative project for a few years now. It’s so exciting to see this all hands on deck effort come together to end veteran homelessness here in Marin County. We need to thank the Novato City Council for their 100% partnership, Supervisor Arnold and the Board of Supervisors along with the Marin Community Foundation for their incredible generosity. We have all teamed up to advance something no other county in Northern California has been able to accomplish - ending veteran homelessness,” Senator Mike McGuire said.

The Homeward Bound project will be situated on a 2.8 acre parcel in Hamilton directly adjacent to their New Beginnings Center and will complete the homeless services campus on that site with 24 units of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) for homeless veterans, 26 units of PSH for homeless adults re-entering the workforce, and an expanded workforce development and social enterprise training hub.

The project would create the first permanent supportive housing in Marin County dedicated to homeless veterans.

"We are thrilled with this incredible funding award from the state. It is a huge step forward toward creating the housing that will end veteran homelessness in Marin County.  Senator McGuire has supported Homeward Bound of Marin’s development of 24 units of housing for homeless veterans at the HUD Parcel in Novato since its inception several years ago. He has advocated for funding locally and at the State level over the past few years and has utilized his position and influence to highlight the injustice of homelessness in general, and veteran homelessness in particular. We are grateful for Senator McGuire’s leadership, and our partners at the City of Novato, the County of Marin, the Marin Housing Authority, and the Department of Veterans Affairs for their support.  Homeward Bound of Marin looks forward to the day that we open the doors to this much needed affordable housing development and welcome our veterans into a home of their own,” said Paul Fordham and Mary Kay Sweeney of Homeward Bound of Marin.

Community partners, working with Homeward Bound, have identified a by-name-list of homeless veterans. The team, including the department of Veterans Affairs, is making great progress housing homeless veterans one person at a time. These additional new units of supportive housing will actually end veteran homelessness for the remaining individuals on the by-name-list. Any veterans who fall into homelessness after that will be prioritized for the next available local housing opportunity.

Also this week, the City of Novato committed to a $750,000 grant for this project to help cover potential planning costs and fees. Late last year, the city and Homeward Bound entered into a 55 year ground lease for $1 per year for the property as well.

“Homeward Bound has been a great partner and we are thrilled we are even closer to our shared goal of ending veteran homelessness,” Novato Mayor Denise Athas said. “We are grateful for the leadership of Senator McGuire and the state for investing $3 million in this important project.”    

In addition to the $7 million from the State, County and the Marin Community Foundation, MCF also provided seed funding to the tune of $200,000 in pre-development funds early on. Tamalpais Pacific also provided $100,000 in pre-development funds.

“Marin County has been focused on providing solutions to the homelessness crisis and this project will be a big step in the right direction. We have been pleased to partner with Homeward Bound and Senator McGuire to help make this plan a reality,” Marin County Supervisor Judy Arnold said.

“The Marin Community Foundation is deeply committed to funding critically-needed affordable housing, including a focus on ending homelessness for veterans. We are pleased to be partners on this groundbreaking project,” said Thomas Peters, President & CEO of Marin Community Foundation.

The $3 million from the State of California is funded from the Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program through the California Department of Housing and Community Development.