Placer County receives homeless prevention grant for at-risk older, dependent adults

Published on January 17, 2019

Following a statewide competitive application process, Placer County was among the counties selected to test the Home Safe program to prevent victims of elder and dependent adult abuse or neglect from becoming homeless.

The California Department of Social Services awarded the county’s Health and Human Services department $469,000 to implement Home Safe locally over the next two years.

Home Safe fills a local gap by allowing the Adult Protective Services program to provide short-term housing assistance to clients, which had not previously been accessible. Adult Protective Services serves victims of elder and dependent abuse and neglect.

Locally, reports of elder and dependent adult abuse have risen 55 percent over the last six years, placing many at-risk adults in danger of falling into homelessness.

“We’ve seen cases where adult children are pocketing money that their dependent parents need for rent. Before they know it, landlords are serving them an eviction notice,” said Adult System of Care Director Amy Ellis. “Home Safe allows us to step in and offer short-term assistance so that Adult Protective Services clients can stay in their homes.”

Home Safe will allow trained staff to identify specific problems that place a client’s housing at risk – for instance, late payments, cleanliness issues, noise and other issues. Staff work with landlords, utility companies and others to develop solutions. This includes settling arrearages, rent subsidies, back payments on utilities, or deep cleaning services.

For more complex housing issues, staff will refer clients to Placer County’s coordinated entry system, a centralized gateway to countywide housing resources that is accessible to the public via telephone hotline.

The state award is matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis through in-kind support and other statewide funding streams.

Health and Human Services estimates that up to 120 Adult Protective Services clients stand to benefit from the resources Home Safe has to offer or through better linkages to the homeless services system.

“We’re ready to hit the ground running,” said Colby Hytoff, a program manager with Adult Protective Services. “We have deep relationships with area property owners and a long history of providing rapid housing assistance to those in need.”

Placer County will also take part in a statewide evaluation to document Home Safe impacts and to make recommendations for the future.

If you are concerned about an elder or dependent adult who may be experiencing abuse or neglect, call 916-787-8860 (or toll-free 888-886-5401) to make a report with Adult Protective Services.