New Housing for Salinas Homeless Population Awarded Public-Private Partnership of the Year

New Housing for Salinas Homeless Population Awarded Public-Private Partnership of the Year

The conversion of a Salinas motel into housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness has been selected as the Public-Private Partnership of the Year by the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership.

The project, led by Shangri-La Industries, LLC (SLI) and Step Up on Second Street, Inc., was made possible in part with a grant from the state’s Project Homekey, created last year to help those facing housing insecurity. The conversion of the property will create 101 units of permanent supportive housing for those hardest to house and most in need of wrap-around services at the former Good Nite Hotel on Work Street in Salinas.

The hotel was purchased with financing from Shangri-La Industries, LLC and is in the top 10% of most cost effective Homekey projects throughout California. So far, the project has provided housing to 60 Monterey County residents experiencing homelessness, while the building undergoes a complete rehabilitation.

“Through this tremendous partnership, we have quickly been able to provide shelter and secure housing to dozens of Monterey County residents without using tax credits or bonds,” said Andy Meyers, CEO of Shangri-La. “This illustrates what we can achieve when government and private industry come together to solve complex problems and deliver services to our communities.”

“Amidst a pandemic, Shangri-La mobilized and made progress on these projects to bring units online quickly and efficiently,” said Supervisor Luis Alejo. “This partnership is a true commitment to tackle systemic racism, homelessness and address social inequities such as lack of access to housing systems. We must replicate this kind of work throughout Monterey County.”

“Through Project Homekey and in partnership with co-developer Shangri-La Construction, we are able to create real change for our most vulnerable communities,” said Tod Lipka, Step Up’s President & CEO. “Our properties provide a home for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness by supporting them with not only a roof over their heads, but the right support services and resources needed to rejoin our community. We are honored to receive this award and look forward to this continued partnership.”

The state’s homelessness crisis became even more urgent with the outbreak of COVID-19. People living on the streets or without secure housing are at higher risk of transmission and serious illness from COVID-19 than the rest of the population.

Monterey County is home to more than 2,400 homeless residents, according to a federally mandated census of homeless people across the country. The county does not have as many shelter beds available as it does homeless residents.

At the height of the COVID-19 outbreak, the project offered temporary housing to those experiencing homelessness. Late last year, the state made funding available to convert the project to more permanent supportive housing.

Last month, SLI and Step Up on Second welcomed Governor Newsom and San Bernardino County officials to tour The All Star Lodge in San Bernardino. The All Star Lodge is an innovative hotel/motel conversion designed to assist individuals and families 55 years of age and older who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness by providing initial interim housing through conversion to permanent housing within the next 18-24 months. Once completed, the Homekey project will add 76 units of permanent supportive housing.

“In a matter of months, not years, Shangri-La and Step Up gave some of the most vulnerable Californians the dignity of a key, a lock, a door, a place to call home, said Governor Gavin Newsom. “This is an example of the kind of innovation we need to take this crisis on. Only by scaling bold solutions will we be able to tackle the issue of homelessness and housing in California.”

Administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), Project Homekey has dedicated $600 million in grant funding to cities, counties, and other local public entities, including housing authorities or federally recognized tribal governments within California to purchase and rehabilitate housing, including hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, and other buildings and convert them into interim or permanent, long-term housing.