The City of Riverbank will be awarded funding from two separate entities. The city will be awarded an Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) and funding from the State of California.
Riverbank City Manager Sean Scully stated that the city applied for the ESG through a competitive grant process issued by Stanislaus County. The grant proposal award is approximately $497,992. The award will be used for a full time street outreach team to work with the city’s homeless population to connect them to available services. The city also plans to use the funds for a shelter operations program.
“The shelter program will include educational classes, job training, eventual permanent housing placement and other important resources to help the interested homeless individuals work toward exiting homelessness,” said Scully.
California State Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman requested $2 million to be included in the State of California budget to help fund the City of Riverbank’s homelessness program. When the funds are received the city plans to use those funds for property, renovation, transitional housing, homeless outreach, and operation of the program.
However, Scully noted that it is dependent on the details of the funding dictated by the State of California.
“This is a lot of money and probably a rarity,” said Mayor Richard O’Brien. “I don’t know of any city that has had funds budgeted directly to the city. Normally it is a program or a grant that you have to compete for but this is going directly to the city.”
Scully concurred adding, “The city is still in the process of discussing and designing the master plan for how these funds can be best used to help those in need within our community, but to my knowledge it is the first time in Riverbank’s recent history that we have been awarded funding to address this issue.”
The program that the city would like to create would assist the chronically homeless, semi-homeless, single mothers, children and battered women.
The wheels were set in motion after Mayor O’Brien had a conference call with the Senator and then a lengthy call with her chief of staff, David Stammerjohan. The mayor explained what they were doing in the City of Riverbank and the vision of their programs to help the community.
The city will be teaming up with Cambridge Academy that will provide training for jobs, assistance with education, and outreach.
Eggman represents the Fifth Senate District which includes all of San Joaquin County and portions of Stanislaus and Sacramento counties. The portion in Stanislaus County includes most of the city of Modesto and the entire city of Riverbank.
“We have not yet received either funding award, but we anticipate that occurring within the next 30 to 60 days,” expressed Scully. “The city will continue to aggressively seek other funding to make sure that homeless and housing insecure residents have options at a local level for support.”