Paul’s Place, which offers opportunities for people suffering from homelessness to find a place to live, and gives support to help people get the services they need to rebuild their lives.
“Recognizing the potential of the 1111 H Street site given its size and location, Yolo County Housing offered its vision for vertical living, incorporating micro-dwelling units along with a new and improved facility,” it states in the project narrative.
The project has officially been on hold as the groups working to bring this vision forward have been raising the millions needed to fund the project said Bill Pride, Executive Director of Davis Communities Meals, one of two nonprofits joining forces to help create an innovative solution to homelessness in Davis.
The site is currently a single-story house with a resource center, and one bathroom and shower for day use along with limited community and kitchen facilities. There is one bedroom with four beds and a bathroom to house four women, and three bedrooms with a bathroom to house eight men. There is also a staff bedroom with a bathroom.
They are promising to turn it into a four-story house. The first floor would have an expanded resource center and two emergency shelters with double-occupancy bedrooms and 1 ¾ bathroom.
The second floor will have 10 transitional housing units – each a single occupancy bedroom, a shared kitchen, living and laundry room, three bathrooms and two half-baths, with two staff offices and a staff bedroom.
The third floor would have nine single permanent supportive housing, single -occupant fully equipped micro-dwellings. The fourth floor would have the same.
As the narrative explains: “Located on the third and fourth floors, the 18-permanent supportive housing micro-dwellings represent the most innovative component of the facility. Each adaptable micro-dwelling will feature a 300-square foot furnished living space.”
Bill Pride explained to the Vanguard that the concept came when Reid Youmans was approached by a few homeless folks near his Olive Drive office and he checked out the facility on H Street, and said, “You guys need a place over there.”
At the same time, the Davis Opportunity Village, another non-profit partner in this project, wanted to build “tiny homes” in the city.
That group, Bill Pride, Reid Youmans, and then Mayor Robb Davis came up with what’s now called “Paul’s Place.”
“We’re going to be knocking down the existing facility that we’ve had for 25 years and rebuilding it so that we have an expanded resource center, a new and improved transitional housing program and two floors of permanent housing for folks,” Mr. Pride explained.
He said, “(Paul’s Place) is going to expand our ability to serve people better.”
As he described, the current building has between 35 and 70 folks a day going to the resource center. These are folks who need to do things like wash their clothes, take showers, use the bathroom. In the current facility “we have one bathroom and one shower and they’re both located in the same room.
“We have 20 people signing up for showers every morning,” he said. “They have to wait an hour, sometimes two, to take a show before it’s their turn.”
He added that “we have two washers and two dryers for all the people that want to wash clothing and that type of thing.”
The first floor of the new building will be the resource center, Bill Pride explained. “That is going to have more showers, more bathrooms. More laundry facilities – more washers, more dryers,” he said. “People are going get their needs met in a much faster way.”
Bill Pride said most of these folks are homeless, but some are low income who come in for food referrals, rental assistance, and a whole range of other services.
Besides the resource center, they currently have the transitional housing program.
“Currently it has 12 beds – eight for men, four for women,” Bill Pride explained. The new program will reduce the number of beds from 12 to 10. “The big change for me is that right now we have three bedrooms housing four people (each), so there’s four people per bedroom, all living in bunk beds.
“That’s not an ideal situation, mostly folks are adults… up to 65 years of age,” he explained. “The new building is going to have 10 transitional housing rooms but they are all going to be individual rooms for everybody.”
As the narrative explains, “the proposed bedrooms are single occupancy units. The benefits of single occupancy compared to cohabitation include a less restrictive intake process, more effective case management, and a faster transition to permanent housing.”
He also talked about the third and fourth floors, which will be micro-housing units.
Again there will be nine such units on each floor, with each unit being about 300 square feet. It will be fully furnished.
As the narrative notes: “This efficient use of space is particularly relevant in Davis where housing availability is limited.”
The narrative adds: “Utilizing Housing First principles and a low barrier program model, DCMH staff will offer each resident on-site supportive services, which includes intensive case management.”
Bill Pride explained they will be supportive housing beds operated “the way we do at Cesar Chavez.
“There is going to be staff on site to help folks, give them any kind of assistance they may need,” he said. “We’re here to help the folks that move in, stay housed. That may mean dealing with some kind of crisis situation.”
He added, “Our goal is once folks move in – they stay.”
To qualify they will have to be homeless. They will also pay a nominal rent perhaps $250 to $300 per month.
“It’s going to be affordable to folks on SSI and other kinds of fixed incomes,” he said.
Funding for this project is through private donations – the biggest being Sutter Health Foundation which has put up a $2.5 million matching grant plan. There is also Partnership Health Plan which has donated $750,000. The balance of the money is coming from local individuals.
Currently they are at $2 million in donations, but need a total of $4 to $5 million to get the building built.
To run the project, “we are going to use co-founding sources, but we are also trying to raise enough money to establish an endowment so that we can make sure we have enough money to operate the program over the years.”
They have the need for operation and maintenance, but also for program support.
The goal is to get the planning process back underway in the next two to four weeks, then hopefully bring it before the city council by October and November.
If the fundraising continues as planned, knocking down the old building next year will be likely, with opening the new one in 2021.
—David M. Greenwald reporting