For Immediate ReleaseSeptember 21, 2021
County, City of Larkspur, Episcopal Community Services partner to serve vulnerable residents
Larkspur, CA — The County of Marin and the City of Larkspur, in partnership with Episcopal Community Services (ECS), have identified a potential Project Homekey site at the former skilled nursing facility at 1251 S. Eliseo Drive in Larkspur. The property represents a unique opportunity to revitalize an underutilized parcel, increase capacity to serve vulnerable Marin residents experiencing homelessness, and earn credit toward Larkspur’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) goals.
According to the City of Larkspur’s Mayor Kevin Haroff, “This development is a win-win. It revitalizes an underutilized property and brings much needed housing for some of Marin’s most vulnerable people.”
In 2020, in an effort to protect Californians experiencing homelessness who are at high risk for serious illness and are impacted by COVID-19, the State of California launched an innovative new housing program called Project Homekey. To-date, Homekey has resulted in 6,029 new units of permanent housing statewide and has housed approximately 9,000 people. In Marin, the County received approximately $8.6 million in 2020 to aid the purchase of 63 new units of supportive housing in San Rafael and Corte Madera.
In early 2021, the State announced a second round of Homekey funding, and in April, the County of Marin convened a team to begin searching for new opportunities. The State issued a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for Project Homekey on September 9th; applications will be open on October 1st, at which time the County and ECS plan to submit a proposal to receive funds for the purchase of 1251 S. Eliseo.
The property will be operated by ECS as a 43-unit, Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) facility for single adults experiencing homelessness. Permanent supportive housing, an evidence-based housing intervention that combines affordable housing solutions with wraparound support services, is a proven solution to chronic homelessness. These support services, including case management and mental health, educational, and vocational services help residents achieve housing stability and improve health outcomes.
ECS is negotiating the purchase of the property, which is subject to a professional appraisal and due diligence investigations.
Over the past four years, the County of Marin, the Marin Housing Authority, and local service providers have permanently housed 389 of the most vulnerable, long-term chronically homeless people in Marin. Of those, 95% are still housed.
“Developments like 1251 S. Eliseo mean housing for the people who need it most, and help us keep pace on our goal to end long-term homelessness in Marin County,” said Marin County Supervisor Katie Rice.
ECS has a long track record of successfully operating PSH programs, including helping to pioneer the first PSH program in San Francisco. Today it is responsible for operating over 1,600 PSH units, with over 98% of its residents retaining housing year over year. The cornerstone of ECS’ success has been its ability to establish authentic relationships in the communities it serves. If the State chooses to fund the purchase of 1251 S. Eliseo, ECS will work with Larkspur and the County to create a community advisory group that will include representatives from the City of Larkspur, County of Marin, ECS, neighborhood stakeholders, and individuals with lived experience of homelessness.
“Permanent supportive housing is a proven intervention to ending chronic homelessness. ECS is grateful to have this opportunity to serve vulnerable Marin County residents,” said Beth Stokes, Executive Director of ECS. “We look forward to working collaboratively with the Larkspur community to support the success of 1251 S. Eliseo Drive.”
Over the coming weeks this opportunity will be subject to an exhaustive vetting process including due diligence, financial, and operational feasibility. Throughout the process, the Project Homekey team will continue to provide regular communication to local stakeholders about this project and will seek input from the community.
For more information about this property, or Project Homekey generally, please visit: https://housingfirst.marinhhs.org/homekey or email Marin HHS staff.
About the City of Larkspur
Incorporated in 1908, the City of Larkspur is a full-service municipality located in the heart of Marin County, nine miles north of San Francisco. The city has a mix of commercial, residential, and industrial uses with a residential population is approximately 12,300. Larkspur has a wonderful historic downtown, with shops and nationally recognized cafes and restaurants.
About Marin HHS
Marin County Health and Human Services is the largest department in the County of Marin and consists of 700+ employees across 40+ programs and services. Their mission is to promote and protect the health, well being, self-sufficiency, and safety of all people in Marin.
Their vision is that All in Marin flourish by becoming an anti-racist organization for services, programs, clients, staff, and partners; being one integrated, coordinated, collaborative, non-siloed organization for staff and clients; all employees have the opportunity to influence the organization and thrive in their pursuits; all residents can live their most happy, healthy, safe, and self-sufficient best lives. HHS is proud to lead the County’s efforts to address homelessness in Marin.
About Episcopal Community Services
ECS has provided essential services to homeless San Franciscans since 1983, utilizing a holistic approach that addresses the complex causes leading to homelessness. Last year, they served more than 13,000 people, guided by their mission to help homeless and very low-income people every day and every night obtain the housing, jobs, shelter, and essential services each person needs to prevent and end homelessness. In July of this year, the County of Marin selected ECS to be its development sponsor for the Project Homekey 2.0 initiative.
Ashley Hart McIntyreHomelessness Policy AnalystDepartment of Health and Human Services
1776 E. Francisco Blvd.San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-3501Email: Ashley Hart McIntyreMarin HHS website