Homeless prevention:
The Primary Solution
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This listing, a product of the Homelessness Prevention Task Force Model Programs Research and Review Subcommittee, lists funding sources and agencies providing intervention-oriented homelessness prevention assistance in San Mateo County. The list covers homelessness prevention only, with an emphasis on housing assistance; most of these agencies provide many other services that are not described, and some agencies may have been entirely omitted out of oversight. For a more complete listing of agencies and services, contact the Community Information Program (CIP) at (415) 595-7950.




Season of Sharing funds provide a maximum of $800 for last month's rent and deposit. Back rent or mortgage can be considered to prevent eviction or foreclosure. The Funds are distributed evenly to the seven core agencies in the County, but agencies borrow from each other depending on need. Final expenditures in 1992 were as follows:


Bayshore Community Resource Center $16,056 34
Coastside Opportunity Center $ 6,574 12
Daly City Community Services Center $28,559 49
Fair Oaks Community Center $18,132 37
North Peninsula Neighborhood Services Center $21,064 38
Pacifica Resource Center $19,447 31
Samaritan House $25,458 68


Eligibility Criteria: Priorities favor families, seniors or disabled. Family must have adequate income to maintain rent (rent must be 65% or less of net income).

Area Served: Entire County

Number of People Served: In 1992, the County allocation was $142,711. In 1993 it is $135,910.

Money Spent per Year: In 1992, 269 families were served in the County.

Funding Sources: Made available through the fundraising efforts of the San Francisco Chronicle; administered by the Northern California Grantmakers. Samaritan House distributes the funds. The same agencies are involved with the emergency-aid Critical Family Needs Fund.



The Fund was established in May 1991 by the Apartment Industry Foundation.

Eligibility Criteria: Individuals or families that have suffered a catastrophe such as death, illness, or loss of essential personal property. The clients must need emergency help only; they must be able to eventually sustain themselves through employment or public aid. Eligibility is generally at the discretion of the caseworker at the distributing agency. Up to $1,000 per client may be granted, generally in the form of a vendor rent payment to a landlord. Clients may use the fund no more than once a year.

Area Served: San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.

Number of People Served: 30-40 families or individuals a year.

Money Spent per Year: $25,000 a year total, distributed evenly to all seven core agencies in the County. Agencies borrow from each other depending on demand. Average grant is about $400.

Source of Funding: Based in San Jose, the Apartment Industry Foundation receives private donations from members of the apartment industry such as owners, realtors and landscaping companies. The Foundation's efforts concentrate on Santa Clara and San Mateo County.

Degree of Utilization: According to Foundation Executive Director Deborah Wade, San Mateo County has used up the funds slower than expected.

Site: Apartment Industry Foundation, 1777 Saratoga Avenue, Suite 210, San Jose 94129. (408) 253-2053



Provided by the Northern California Grantmakers to one agency per County. In San Mateo County the program is administered by Catholic Charities/Peninsula Family Resource Center. See Catholic Charities listing for more details.




Provides vouchers for shelters for up to three days, referrals to transitional housing, and Season of Sharing funds.

Eligibility Criteria: Low or moderate income

Area Served: East Palo Alto or Menlo Park

Number of People Served in 1992: 34 families used Season of Sharing funds in 1992. About 180 nights of lodging were supplied.

Money Spent in 1992: $16,056 in Season of Sharing funds, $6,000 in motel vouchers.

Funding Source: Salvation Army for lodging vouchers, Northern California Grantmakers for Season of Sharing funds.

Staffing: One caseworker, one receptionist, one director.

Site: 2277 University Avenue, East Palo Alto 94303. (415) 322-1821



Provides emergency assistance for residents of the mid-county area who need information or referral to a social or community service or help with a problem.

Eligibility Criteria: Resident of area served

Area Served: Belmont, Burlingame, Foster City, Hillsborough, Millbrae, San Mateo

Number of People Served in 1992: 6,516

Money Spent in 1992: $62,839

Funding Source: Churches, community donations, and City of Burlingame

Staffing: Two staff, director and assistant

Site: 401 Primrose, Burlingame 94010. (415) 342-CALL



Provides casework and administers the Rental Assistance Program (RAP). RAP grants up to $400 as part of an agency-guaranteed loan of up to $800 in a contract with the landlord for back rent or a security deposit.

Eligibility Criteria: Families. RAP requires that the family be able to repay its part of the guaranteed loan.

Area Served: San Mateo County residents.

Number of People Served: About 75 families in 1992 received help from the RAP program; ongoing, about 179 receive long-term casework, 358 short-term casework.

Money Spent in 1992: $25,000 a year in RAP funds with rollover. Also manages a very small discretionary funds for rent assistance with its case-managed families.

Funding Source: Northern California Grantmakers for the RAP program; PFRC is the only San Mateo County program with RAP funds.

Degree of Utilization: Strongest demand is for families who have experienced recent layoffs who are not eligible for RAP because of the uncertainty of their situations.

Staffing: One administrator, one caseworker, one 80%-time caseworker and a volunteer caseworker.

Site: 307 - 2nd Avenue, San Mateo. (415) 579-0277



Provides Season of Sharing funds and a winter emergency shelter.

Eligibility Criteria: See Season of Sharing listing under Major Homelessness Prevention Funds.

Area Served: El Granada, Half Moon Bay, La Honda, Montara, Moss Beach, Pescadero, San Gregorio.

Number of People Served: 12 families received SOS help in 1992 Money Spent in 1992: $6,574 in SOS funds.

Staffing: Director, one social worker, two communities workers.

Site: 535 Kelly Avenue, Half Moon Bay 94019. (415) 726-9071



CAA does not provide back rent assistance, but it does assist homeless people with up to $350 in move-in costs, negotiate with landlords to ensure that they will accept vouchers, house clients in hotels for up to seven days and make referrals. Also has a weatherization program.

Eligibility Criteria: Homeless clients; clients with an income at or below 130% of the Federal poverty level.

Funding Sources: State

Utilization: Over-utilized; due to budget cuts the agency is able to provide financial assistance to about 10% of its potential clients.

Site: 1605 Industrial Way, Belmont 94002. (415) 595-1342



Provides case management, emergency assistance and Season of Sharing funds.

Eligibility Criteria: See Season of Sharing criteria.

Area Served: Daly City, Broadmoor, Colma

Number of People Served: 49 families received SOS help in 1992.

Money Spent in 1992: $28,559 in SOS funds.

Degree of Utilization: 450 requests for SOS funds, most denied because the families were not eligible. Director Wanda Nalls notes that those denied were nonetheless helped in other ways such as shared housing assistance or advocacy with the landlord (a statement echoed by other Core Service Agency administrators).

Site: 134 Hillside Blvd., Daly City 94014. (415) 991-8007



Provides advice and legal representation for indigent people in San Mateo County.

Eligibility Criteria: Client's income must be below 150% of the poverty line.

Area Served: East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park.

Number of People Served: 278

Money Spent in 1992: $133,000

Staffing: One lawyer 4/5 time; one lawyer 1/4 time

Site: 1395 Bay Road, East Palo Alto. (415) 853-1600



Provides case management, tenant information, emergency housing vouchers and Season of Sharing funds.

Eligibility Criteria: See Season of Sharing heading. Clients are primarily Hispanic families. Area Served: Redwood City, Atherton, Portola Valley, Woodside

Number of People Served: 37 families helped through SOS funds.

Money Spent in 1992: $18,132 in season of Sharing Funds.

Staffing: Receptionist, secretary, facility leader and facility aide, two community workers and center coordinator.

Site: 2600 Middlefield, Redwood City 94063. (415) 780-7260



Assists in the arrangement of shared housing for families, singles and the elderly. Lists secondary units, screens and matches clients. Sponsors intergenerational matches. Also runs the Group Shared Home Project in which people share rent and housework, and the Reverse Annuity Mortgage Program for Seniors.

Eligibility Criteria: Most clients are below 80% of median income, but program is open to anyone desiring shared housing.

Area Served: San Mateo County

Number Served per Year: 1800 households and 2500 people in the 50-80% of median income range; more served in total.

Money Spent per Year: $120,450.

Source of Funds: CDBG, city, county, private contributions.

Staffing: 2 1/2 housing counselors, two program coordinators, two housing developers, volunteer coordinator, executive director, bookkeeping and clerical support.

Site: Main office is at 364 South Railroad Avenue, San Mateo 94401. (415) 348-6660. Three other sites in the County.



Provides case management, in-home care and conservatorship of persons and estates, and information and referral.



Head Start is a free comprehensive Child Development program administered by IHSD in San Mateo County, primarily for low-income parents with children between 3-5 years of age. Ten percent of the Head Start enrollment is available to children with handicapped conditions.

Eligibility: Low income families that meet federal poverty guidelines.

Population Served: San Mateo County residents with children aged 3-5.

Area Served: San Mateo County programs are located in East Palo Alto (3), Redwood City,  (home-based), Half Moon Bay, San Mateo, Pacifica, South San Francisco, and Daly City.

Source of Funds: Federally funded

Site: Main office is at 753 Del Monte Avenue, South San Francisco. (415) 871-5613.



Administers contracts to non-profits to provide housing counseling services and acquisition of affordable housing. Non-profits apply through an RFP process.

Eligibility Criteria: Non-profits must serve low or very low households in San Mateo County
(low = 80% of median income and very low is 50%).

Area Served: San Mateo County, generally outside of Redwood City, South San Francisco, San Mateo or Daly City. These cities have their own CDGB entitlement. However, HOME program funds will be available to these cities via the San Mateo County HOME Consortium.

Money Spent per Year: This year $1,400,000 is available in CDBG funds. Approximately $5 million in HOME funds will be available for San Mateo County.

Funding Sources: County and Federal HUD program.

Utilization of Services The County receives 3-4 times the number of requests than the amount of funds available.

Staffing: 5 housing specialists.

Site: 262 Harbor Blvd. Building A, Belmont. (415) 802-5050



Provides housing assistance through the Section 8 Certificate and Voucher programs. Operates a 150-unit conventional public housing. Manages a 60-unit senior complex.

Eligibility Criteria: Very low income families (50% of median income)

Area Served: San Mateo residents and out of county families

Number of People Served: 3,300 + families

Funding Sources: Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Utilization of Services: According to Sarah Chin of the Housing Authority, total waiting list for certificates and vouchers is about 2,000 families. For public housing, waiting fig is about 500. Time spent on the list varies; for a one-bedroom apartment about one year, for two bedrooms about two years, for three bedrooms and up the wait can be 6-7 years. Waiting list is open very infrequently.

Site: 456 Peninsula Avenue, San Mateo. (415) 348-4251



Provides legal counseling on landlord/tenant, immigration and wage claim issues.

Eligibility Criteria: Serves primarily low and moderate-income Spanish speakers.

Number of People Served: 180-240

Money Spent per Year: $41,000

Source of Funds: CDBG, foundations, donations.

Staffing: 1 attorney and one paralegal.

Site: Based in San Francisco, with four outposts at core services agencies in San Mateo County.
(415) 826-5506



Under the "Homesavers" program, provides legal counseling, advice and representation.

Eligibility Criteria: HUD criteria for low income.

Area Served: San Mateo County

Number of People Served: 800

Money Spent per Year: $35,000 for the Homesavers program. $2,800/year in emergency funds from Peninsula Community Foundation.

Source of Funds: County Housing and Community Services, Legal Services Corporation, State Bar, and foundations.

Staffing: 1 attorney, 2 part-time paralegals.

Site: 298 Fuller Street, Redwood City 94063. (415) 365-8411



Administers the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) Program. HOPWA provides short-term rent, emergency housing, utility and repairs assistance. Also pays back rent and back utilities and alcohol/drug treatment.

Eligibility Criteria: Confirmed HIV + diagnosis and poverty level income or below.

Area Served: San Mateo County

Number of People Served: "Well over 100" estimated by the end of FY 1992-93.

Money Spent per Year: about $175,000

Source of Funds: Federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Utilization: MHA planned to serve 50, but has served many more. No one is turned away.

Staffing: One coordinator, one administrative assistant in the HOPWA program.

Site: 2686 Spring Street, Redwood City. (415) 368-3345/368-3345.



Investigates housing discrimination and provides fair housing counseling.

Eligibility Criteria: None.

Area Served: San Mateo County from Redwood City south.

Number of People Served: 226 housing discrimination cases in 1992. About 2,000 calls per year.

Budget: about $220,000

Source of Funds: Membership, donations, city and county, CDBG funds

Staffing: Two and a half caseworkers, director.

Site: 457 Kingsley Avenue, Palo Alto 94301. (415) 327-1718.



Provides emergency assistance, a landlord/tenant hotline, Salvation Army vouchers and Season of Sharing funds.

Eligibility Criteria: None.

Area Served: South San Francisco, San Bruno and Brisbane.

Number of People Served: 38 families received SOS funds in 1992. 15-20 calls a day on the landlord/tenant hotline.

Money Spent in 1992: $21,064 in SOS funds.

Source of Funds: Season of Sharing funds, Peninsula foundations, and $30,000 from the County for landlord/tenant hotline staffing costs.

Utilization of Services: Overutilized -- increase of 50% over the last 3 years. Strong need for more staff.

Staffing: Three full-time service specialists.

Site: 1487 Huntington Avenue, South San Francisco 94080. (415) 877-5665.



A non-profit providing mediation for landlord/tenant and other conflicts.

Area Served: Free to residen6 of Redwood City, East Palo Alto, San Carlos, Belmont, Foster City, San Mateo, Brisbane, Millbrae, and South San Francisco. $25 fee for residents outside of these cities.

Number of People Served: 850 cases were mediated in 1992. Approximately 50% were landlord/tenant related. Of these, about 60% were resolved successfully.

Source of Funding: County supplies $40,000 from taxes; Foundation grants.

Utilization of Services: PCRC's resources are fully utilized, but according to Bill Coneely of PCRC mediation is underutilized as a community resource.

Staffing: 2 full-time and 4 part-time workers. 150 volunteers mediators.

Site: Main office is 2 Waters Park Drive, #206, San Mateo 94403. (415) 571-0367. Other offices in East Palo Alto and Redwood City.



Provides emergency services including motel vouchers, shared home counseling, personal finance counseling and rent or mortgage assistance. Seniors, disabled and families can receive direct housing assistance through Season of Sharing funds. Singles are referred to shared housing or the shelter.

Eligibility Criteria: Low income households or higher income households with a sudden change in income. A person who has become disabled and will have a change in income can also receive assistance.

Area Served: Pacifica

Number of People Served: 31 families in 1992 received SOS funds.

Money Spent in 1992: $19,447 in SOS funds. Less than $2,000 in motel vouchers.

Source of Funds: City of Pacifica and County of San Mateo general funds; donations from community; Northern California Grantmakers supply Season of Sharing funds.

Utilization: Overutilized. No records available of the number turned away.

Staffing: 2 full-time caseworkers and a receptionist.

Site: 1809 Palmetta, Pacifica 94044. (415) 359-0250



Provides transitional motel vouchers for one or two nights. Sometimes at the end of the year a little extra money is available for rent assistance for a few families; no such money was available last year. This year $14,000 from the State is available for a one-shot rental assistance program.

Area Served: San Mateo County

Number of People Served: Uncertain. The Salvation Army church can give limited rent help on a confidential, discretionary basis.

Source of Funding: From private donations, PG&E shareholders and matches. $56,000 for the Central County office.

Utilization: Juan Duque, Family Service Director, has noticed a 'very sharp" increase in requests for rental assistance in the previous 8-10 months.

Staffing: For the Family Services Program (which provides above services), one director and one caseworker in Redwood City office; one caseworker in San Mateo office.

Site: 540 Clinton Street, Redwood City 94062. (415) 368-4643



Provides first and last month's rent through Season of Sharing funds. Administers the Apartment Industry Fund and the Winter Shelter.

Eligibility Criteria: Clients must spend less than 66% of their guaranteed income spent on -rent. New clients who have just lost their jobs cannot get help until they find another job.

Area Served: Millbrae, Burlingame, Hillsborough, San Mateo, Foster City, San Carlos, Belmont.

Number Served per Year: 68 families receive SOS funds. About 100 families or singles are assisted per year by Season of Sharing or Apartment Industry Fund.

Money Spent in 1992: $25,458 in SOS funds.

Funding Sources: City, County, donations, SOS.

Staffing: Five caseworkers, administrative and office support.

Site: 401 North Humboldt, San Mateo 94401. (415) 347-3648



Provides free mediation for small claims litigants and others. 506 cases were completed in 1991-92, however only 1 % of these cases were landlord/tenant cases.



Provides housing discrimination investigation, a fair housing hotline and information about fair housing, mostly over the phone.

Eligibility Criteria: None.

Area Served: Northern, Central and Coastside San Mateo County.

Number of People Served: In San Mateo County about 100 housing discrimination cases. About three times as many calls.

Utilization:Highly utilized, but nobody is being turned away.

Staffing: Three housing counselors, directors.

Site: Palo Alto, Gilroy, Milpitas. Palo Alto office is at (415) 321-6291



Eligibility Criteria: Recent inmate or inmate's family.

Service Provided: Emergency lodging for those who have been in jail for at least 60-90 days while the client is waiting for GA or assistance from friends or families. Sometimes the League cobbles together multi-night stays with other service providers. The League also provides discharge planning for inmates. Counselors can get bus tickets for inmates to take them back home to friends or family, or help them apply for General Assistance.

Source of Funding: Private donations; $4,000 a year from the Peninsula Community Foundation helps about 3 families a year with rent.

Site: 725 Middlefield, Redwood City 94063. (415) 363-4370



Provides transitional housing for homeless individuals and families in San Mateo County. At its three family facilities (Haven Family House in Menlo Park, Redwood Family House in Redwood City, and Family Crossroad in Daly City), provides optional follow up programs upon completion of the stay. Over 60% of clients choose this service, which encompasses case management, regular home visits, monthly support groups and recreational activities for one year. 95 % of the programs' participants are able to maintain permanent housing for at least one year after the previous episode of homelessness.

Eligibility Criteria: For transitional facilities must be currently homeless, not fleeing domestic violence and not currently substance abusing.

Number of People Served (by follow up program): The follow up program was fully staffed by the end of 1992. Shelter Network forecasts that 85 families will be served by the program in 1993.

Source of Funding: County, HUD and Northern California Grantmakers.

Staffing: 30 full-time, 10 part-time.

Site: 319 Villa Terrace, San Mateo 94401. (415) 340-8814



In the spirit of love and justice, St. Vincent de Paul Society of San Mateo County provides person to person service of time, talent and resources to help our neighbors in need.

Eligibility Criteria: Those in need of services regardless of race, creed, color, religion, etc.

Number of People Served: In 1992, 34,454 people were served unduplicated which represents 5.3% of entire San Mateo County.

Source of Funding: Private contributions, receives grants for holiday assistance.

Staffing: 4 full-time, 450 volunteers.

Site: Homeless Area Conferences, 344 Grand Avenue in South San Francisco; District Council, 50 No. B Street in San Mateo; Fair Oaks in Redwood City. (415) 343-4403



Hotline provides information and referral. Staffed by 6 volunteers. Bilingual help available, though not at all times.

Numbers: (415) 772-4357; (800 273-6222. 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


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