Point Collaborative Plans New Shelter
The federal government’s Department of Housing and Urban Development published a declaration of “Federal Property Suitable as Facilities to Assist the Homeless” in the Feb. 10, 2017, edition of the Federal Register.
The declaration contained a seemingly inexhaustible list of properties. A Google search for “Alameda” unveiled the following cryptic information buried 14 pages into the list: Alameda Federal Center, Property Number: 54201630019, Northern Parcel, 620 Central Ave., Alameda CA 94501; Status: Excess: GSA Number: 9–G–CA–1604–AD.
A certain familiarity with how cryptic the feds can be with their information (and another search on Google) lead interested parties not to the 600 block of Central Avenue, but down adjacent McKay Avenue to some non-descript brown buildings.
Doug Biggs at the Alameda Point Collaborative (APC) knew about this offer. He noticed that the federal government specified the property as “suitable to assist the homeless.” He and the Rastafarians from Los Angeles applied for the property. As the process grew more complex, Biggs made certain that his had properly crossed his T’s and dotted his I’s, and it paid off.
He recently learned that the federal government conditionally approved APC’s application and a no-fee conveyance to APC of this 3.65-acre surplus federal property. If all goes as planned, APC will receive title to this land, where it plans to open a wellness center to primarily aid homeless adults.
According to Biggs, the Medical Respite & Wellness Center would serve seniors, persons with complex medical and persistent mental health conditions, high users of the health-care system and other vulnerable populations. The center would also serve Alamedans on the brink of homelessness or have recently became homeless. “We hope to help them quickly navigate back into a stable living situation,” he said.
Once the federal government coveys the property to APC and the city approves the project, it would take up to five years and cost $35-40 million to rehab and develop the site. APC plans to rehabilitate the existing facilities rather than building anything new. Funding would come from a variety of federal and state funds dedicated for medical and housing services for the homeless.
According to the city’s press release, APC plans to host meeting and offer tours to familiarize the community with the project. “Once further along, there will be public hearings regarding zoning and design,” the city stated.
“We also plan to establish stakeholder groups to ensure that the surrounding community has a strong voice in the project,” Biggs said. “We are absolutely committed to creating a project that enhances the appeal of the neighborhood, serves critical needs of people who can’t care for themselves, and most importantly, contributes significantly to reducing homelessness in Alameda.”
APC is particularly interested in including direct neighbors in the stakeholder group. Interested parties can contact Briggs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Alameda Point Collaborative, located at the former Naval Air Station, is the largest supportive housing provider for homeless families in Alameda County. APC offers a wide range of services to give residents the tools they need to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty.