Friday Memo, County of Nevada

County Helps to Address Power Outage at Mobile Home Park

Yesterday afternoon, County officials received reports that a local mobile home park had lost power with the possibility to not be restored for several days. Recognizing the current heat wave and the potential to cause heat related health issues due to the power outage, Nevada County's Office of Emergency Services, Adult Services, Behavioral Health and Public Health's emergency response team immediately visited the mobile home park. Staff worked to ensure the mobile home park owner was providing the proper alternative accommodations until the power is restored, connect with the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) that provides oversight over mobile home parks in California, and to provide assistance to any residents who might need extra attention or help during the power outage.

Staff from Nevada County Adult Services and Public Health knocked on every door at the local mobile home park to connect with every resident about available accommodations in a nearby hotel, and ensure everyone without power was able to leave and access the local accommodations available if they wanted. Staff from Behavioral Health were also available onsite at the mobile home park and on-call throughout the evening to provide support to residents who decided to relocate to a local hotel while the mobile home park owner addresses the outages with PG&E. Law enforcement monitored the area yesterday to ensure the residents homes are safe, and will continue to monitor during the duration of the power outage.

County staff is visiting the mobile home park again this afternoon to make sure they connect with any residents staff may have missed and left notes for yesterday. The Nevada County Building Department and HCD are working together to address any permit and building related issues due to the power outage at the mobile home park. Staff are also working to make sure residents without power have access to food, and other resources.

Nevada County puts a high importance on supporting our residents in times of need. County staff assembled a task force and were onsite to help support the residents without power in the mobile home park within a few hours of getting a report from a resident in the mobile home park. County staff will continue to work with the mobile home park owner, HCD, and the residents to make sure they have the resources needed while displaced by the outage.

Better Together logo

Better Together: County Homeless Outreach Efforts

Nevada County provides some homeless outreach through Nevada County Behavioral Health, but also provides funds to community partner organizations for homeless outreach activities, recognizing that these efforts are better together.

Although the County’s Navigation Center has run into initial delays in finding a location in alignment with our City partners, the County's Housing Resource Manager has established a multi-disciplinary Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) to help identify and connect homeless residents to services. HOT brings together services providers such as FREED Center for Independent Living, Community's Beyond Violence, Hospitality House, Turning Point, law enforcement, Probation, and elements of the court system in order to better coordinate outreach activities. Law enforcement works with the team to mitigate camping activities and adverse impacts, identifies individuals who need services and have high levels of contact with law enforcement, coordinates with the jail to develop re-entry plans for people experiencing homeless, and works with the court system to incentivize treatment and stability over incarceration. The team started meeting in May and is moving forward with plans to better capture data and information about encampments, service needs, and barriers to receiving those services. The team is working to coordinate outreach activities that can rapidly connect those who are ready to engage the services that can get them off the street and into housing. Working together, HOT is maximizing county and nonprofit investment in outreach, building the teams capacity to efficiently serve those in need, and working to coordinate outreach to property owners, businesses and community members who have concerns about homelessness.

Through the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), Nevada County Behavioral Health funds a full-time outreach worker at Hospitality House, who engages up to 30 individuals per week experiencing homelessness on the street, in camps and cars, and in remote areas like North San Juan. Additionally, MHSA funds Turning Point Community Programs, who provides a wealth of services targeted towards homeless individuals, including two case managers stationed at Hospitality House, eight Care Coordinators who will perform outreach, 24/7 if needed, to find and engage individuals who have come to Turning Point's attention. Personal Service Coordinators provide individualized services and interventions; one of the Personal Service Coordinators serves as a Forensic Liaison and focuses primarily on homeless outreach for persons involved in the criminal justice system. MHSA also funds a full time homeless outreach worker in Truckee through Project Mana.

Finally, both Adult Protective Services and Child Protective Services frequently outreach to individuals experiencing homelessness through case referrals, and engage these individuals as necessary to ensure safety for the families, the community, and linkage to services.

For more information on the County's homelessness initiatives, visit the Better Together website.

Donner Lake from Donner Summit

Placer County Board Votes to Jointly Support Soda Springs Visitors Center Feasibility Study

On Tuesday, July 24th, Nevada County officials attended Placer County's Board of Supervisors meeting to speak in support of the Donner Summit Visitors' Center Feasibility Study project. The project would be a joint effort by both Placer and Nevada counties to increase economic development and visitor facilities in the Donner Summit and Soda Springs area that borders both counties.

In 2016, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a new Soda Springs Area Plan brought by the Planning Department. The Area Plan focused on attracting more visitors and business investments for improved prosperity and sustainability in the area, while protecting the natural environment.

Like Placer County, Nevada County has decided to allot funding the County receives from Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) towards economic development projects. At Placer County's Tuesday Board meeting, their Board approved nearly $30,000 in funding to conduct a feasibility study for the construction of a visitors' center on Donner Summit. The Donner Summit Visitors Center will serve the Tahoe Truckee area including day visitors and long term visitors. Nevada County is providing over $3,000 in matching funds towards the study to assess project viability, potential locations, and ongoing costs to run the center.

Better Together logo

Better Together: Nevada County Seeks Proposals to Operate an Emergency Severe Weather Shelter

While it has been hot outside all week, winter is just around the corner!  The Nevada County Purchasing Agent, on behalf of Health and Human Services' Department of Housing and Community Services, is requesting brief proposals from all interested providers for the operation of an Emergency Severe Weather Shelter for homeless individuals and families.

The goal of this request is to select a provider for an emergency shelter on days that the County has designated as meeting severe weather requirements during the coming winter months. The shelter would operate between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7 a.m. during severe weather events. The shelter will provide clean, safe shelter for a minimum of thirty individuals per night who are in need of a warm place to ride out a winter storm.

An electronic copy of the request for Emergency Severe Weather Shelter proposals may be downloaded from Nevada County Purchasing’s website. Potential offerors must register with the County in order to be notified of addenda and other notices. To register, please send an email to indicating "Emergency Severe Weather Shelter Operations - Registration" in the subject field. If you do not receive a reply to this email indicating that you have been registered, please call (530) 265-1557.

Elderly woman

Heat Wave Continues in Nevada County: Tips for Elderly

Western Nevada County is experiencing a heat wave.  Temperatures are projected to remain in the high 90's throughout the rest of the week and cooling off to the low 70's at night. 

This type of weather is particularly hazardous to vulnerable senior citizens.  If you know any seniors who may be at risk during this time of high temperatures, check in on them regularly and provide the following information to ensure their safety.

1. Drink plenty of liquids: Dehydration is one of the greatest risks during a high temperature period.  Drink plenty of cool or cold water and avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages which can act as diuretics and increase dehydration.  Drink before you are thirsty.

2. Wear appropriate clothes: When it is hot outside, wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.  Heavy fabrics and dark colors can intensify the effects of heat and bright sun.

3. Stay indoors during the hottest period of the day, late afternoons: If you do not have air-conditioning where you live, seek out stores, shops, or gyms that have air-conditioning, or cooler places.  Do work or run errands early in the day or early in the evening.

4. Take it easy: Avoid running around or exercising when it's hot.  Don't run appliances that are not necessary during the hottest part of the day.  Consider going swimming or doing yoga.

5. Watch the heat index: The current heat index can be found on many apps and websites.  When there is a lot of humidity, it can impact the body's ability to cool itself. 

6. Seek air-conditioned environments: This bears repeating.  Go to a movie, go shopping, or go to a restaurant.

7. Know the warning signs of heat-related illness: Dizziness, nausea, headache, rapid heartbeat, chest pain, fainting and breathing problems are all signs that medical help may be needed immediately.  Call 911.

Odyssey House Awarded CDBG Funding for Renovations

On July 10th the California Department of Housing and Community Development announced awardees of 2018 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program funds. The CDBG program provides communities with flexible funding resources to address a wide range of community development needs and is an important tool for helping local governments tackle serious challenges facing their communities. Targeted areas of project activities must benefit low to moderate-income persons, eliminate slums/blight, or address an immediate threat to the health or welfare of a community.

Nevada County’s successful application communicated the required project element of a public facility’s use to address immediate community needs. Subsequently, the County was awarded $3,196,396 funding that allows for a major renovation to the Odyssey House.

The Odyssey House is a 2,964 square foot County-owned facility that was built in the 1970's originally as a single family residence, and has been utilized by the County as a transitional residential treatment facility for Severely Mentally Ill (SMI) adults since the 1980's. The facility is in a state of disrepair and its layout is not functional for SMI clients.  It is in need of upgrades to provide operational improvements, and cosmetic updating to better deliver program services.

CDBG funded rehabilitation of the Odyssey House will add approximately 3,341 square feet to the structure. Parking will be relocated to allow for adequate staff and disabled parking, while improvements to the building's entrance will allow correct functional space and design deficiencies. The renovation will increase the capacity of the facility from five to eight bedrooms, create two larger multi-stalled restrooms, increase dining/kitchen space to 1220 square feet, while adding a dedicated laundry room and a janitor's closet. The Triage/ Crisis Prevention Office will also increase in size while the administrative office will expand to protect confidential consultations with clients.

Over the past three years the Odyssey House has experienced a 45 percent increase of clients. It is expected this trend of increased use will continue and support the need for greater client capacity. The remodel of The Odyssey House, through CDGB Funding, will allow the facility to serve the current community needs while building capacity for further service needs of Nevada County.

Expanding Access to Medication Assisted Treatment in Criminal Justice Setting

Nevada County was recently selected to participate in the Expanding Access to Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in County Criminal Justice Settings Learning Collaborative. Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is an evidence-based substance use disorder treatment that is already widely used within our County, including through our substance use disorder providers, Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), and our County's drug court programs.

Currently, the use of MAT in our jail is limited, and the most common treatment method is withdrawal using supportive medication to manage symptoms. The team committed to participating in the Learning Collaborative includes Nevada County Sheriff's Office, County Executive Office, District Attorney, Behavioral Health, Public Health, Probation, and our jail's health provider Correctional Medical Group. The Learning Collaborative project will help our stakeholders understand the benefits, challenges, and best practices related to implementing and expanding Medication Assisted Treatment within our jail. Funds will also be available to purchase naloxone for treating drug overdoses in jail and in the community.

Most importantly, this project provides the resources and opportunity for our team to engage in open discussion, from the benefits of MAT to safety concerns within the jail. Nevada County hopes to gain a collective education about the evidence behind MAT in order to better facilitate these internal conversations, to reach a consensus on the expansion of MAT in our jail, and reach the ultimate goal of reducing opioid overdose deaths, hospitalizations, and recidivism in our community.

Regional Housing Authority of Sutter and Nevada Counties logo

Housing Choice Voucher Waitlist Still Open

On Monday, June 25th, the Regional Housing Authority (RHA) opened its waitlist for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, formally known as Section 8 vouchers. Typically, the waitlist for the HCV program fills up quickly, but the waitlist is currently still open for applications!

The HCV program assists low and moderate income families and individuals to secure affordable housing in the private rental market by subsidizing rent based on income. The announcement of the HCV waitlist opening means that the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has provided funding to RHA for a specific number of vouchers to issue to families and individuals currently on the waitlist, thus, the list waitlist can be updated with new names. New applications will now be accepted for current and future HCV vouchers.

The waiting list is organized by preference points, not by the date the application is submitted, and names are selected in order of preference through a random lottery. Preference points are allocated to applicants based on criteria set forth by the RHA. Preferences include things like

1) If a families or individual is currently homeless or living in substandard housing;
2) Paying more than 50% of their income in rent, and
3) Having “involuntarily displaced” from housing.

Even though position on the list is not based on the date you submitted you application, historically, the waitlist is only open for a short period of time so submitting your application as soon as possible will ensure you are on the list.

More information, or the application, can be found by visiting the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's website or on the Regional Housing Authority of Sutter and Nevada Counties website to further understand the program and the application process. 

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