Expansion of board and care beds in Placer County to help address housing gap for those with mental illness

Published June 15, 2023

A board and care facility on the Placer County Government Center campus in North Auburn is adding eight more beds, expanding the portfolio of housing options able to serve residents with severe mental illness, including some experiencing homelessness. 

Harmony House, currently a 20-bed facility that will soon grow to 28, is operated by Yolo Community Care Continuum and provides 24-hour non-medical care to Placer residents aged 18-59 who require assistance with basic needs due to a mental disability. This expansion, along with the anticipated debut of another 15-bed board and care facility operated by AMI Housing later this summer, aims to better meet the demand for specialized housing and support services in the county. In the last year, Harmony House has consistently had little to no vacancies, emphasizing the pressing demand from the community.

Board and care programs enable qualifying individuals to continue living in the community with adequate supports and supervision. These programs serve as a valuable means of preventing homelessness. 

Residents at Harmony House typically receive assistance with skills such as medication and money management, meal preparation, cleaning, laundry, attending medical appointments and transportation. The program facilitates approximately 40 group sessions and outings each month promoting recovery. In the last year, no Harmony House residents have required transitions to more intensive care, demonstrating the program's effectiveness in providing long-term stability for these high-need individuals. Those with additional medical needs are often placed in other types of programs like skilled nursing facilities. 

“We continue to expand our portfolio of different types of beds and housing, so that we can best find solutions that will help meet individuals’ unique needs,” said Adult System of Care Director Amy Ellis. “Board and care facilities are an important piece of the puzzle in addressing mental health and homelessness challenges.”

Referrals for Harmony House are made through the county’s Adult System of Care division, whose 24-hour mental health hotline can be accessed at 1-888-886-5401.