There has been a noticeable uptick in homeless sleeping around Manteca in the past few days.
That’s due to a decision by Inner City Action to exit a 12-month contract they signed with the city to operate the emergency shelter at 555 Industrial Park Drive roughly 10 ½ months early.
The shelter was shut down earlier this week.
Inner City Action is now working with the City of Lodi running a similar venture to work to get the homeless off the streets.
Interim City Manager Toni Lundgren indicated municipal staff is in the process of getting a replacement organization to operate the emergency shelter. The goal is to reopen it next month.
Inner City Action’s notice caught the city by surprise last month when the non-profit exercised an option to terminate the contract early.
The City Council in early June entered into a new 12-month agreement with Inner City Action to continue operating the current emergency shelter in the tent at 555 Industrial Park Drive through June 30, 2022.
The $777,618 contract at the time it was adopted was expected to impact general fund revenue to the tune of $663,862 to continue to operate the emergency center. The remaining $113,756 will come from two federal pass through block grants aimed at serve low-income residents.
Staff has indicated they will keep looking for grant opportunities to supplant the general fund monies.
The city is targeting the annual block grant as well as other state and federal funding sources to pay for ongoing operating expenses.
If the city is unable to do so, the nearly $800,000 annual expense will need to continue to come from the general fund in future years.
Since December 2019 the city has spent $953,361 on the emergency shelter. Of that $307,872 came from the general fund. The rest was from pass through funds or COVID related grants.
Manteca is also in the hunt for someone to oversee the city’s efforts with the homeless as well as the pursuit of affordable housing.
The housing and homeless services manager has a salary range of $112,896 to $137,332 annually.
The new housing and homeless services manager would allow one person in administration to be dedicated to both issues.
The city — between contracted services for day-to-day homeless programs through the emergency shelter as well as the one dedicated police officer to address homeless issues — is spending just over $1 million annually.
The figure is higher once park department costs of daily cleaning where homeless spend the night such as on the sidewalk in front of the library as well as service calls for police and fire response are factored into the equation.
Manteca between January of 2019 and January of this year saw a 41 percent reduction in homeless going from 218 to 129 based on structured point in time counts.
Manteca’s drop was by far the largest in San Joaquin County.
Tracy went from 155 homeless to 124 for a 20 percent reduction while Stockton went from 921 to 893 for a 3 percent reduction.
Lodi, on the other hand, saw a 50 percent increase going from 139 to 208 homeless.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org