Why it matters?

As cities and counties throughout the state and country continue to grapple with the affordable housing crisis, the City of Tulare and County of Tulare have partnered to provide much needed shelter for unhoused individuals and families.

Documented by Dani Huerta

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors approved a no-cost lease agreement with the City of Tulare, allowing a 200+ bed homeless shelter to move forward on a portion of the Hillman healthcare campus on East O’Neal Avenue and South O Street.

What happened: The Tulare County Board of Supervisors met on Nov. 29, 2022 and approved a ground lease agreement with the City of Tulare to build a homeless shelter on 2.32 acres of the county’s Hillman health campus on East O’Neal Avenue and South O Street. The shelter is designed to include 200 beds, but can be increased to 400, and includes classroom space, green space, a food pantry, dog kennels, storage and shower trailers. It’s a partnership between the city and county, the city will operate it and pay for it, while the county provides the land at no cost. The city will use $2 million of ARPA funds for the project, $1.5 million in city surplus funds, and are pursuing an additional $1.5 million in federal funds.

Tulare City Manager Marc Mondell said the shelter will be open to all unhoused individuals and families 24/7 and will allow them to stay as long as they need. It will offer residency status on three levels, with Level 3 offering the most privacy and amenities. It is proposed to be a 10-18 month project build with the annual cost being between $10,000 to $30,000 per bed. 

Business accelerator: Mondell also gave a presentation on the development of a new business accelerator at the former courthouse building. It is envisioned as a place to grow start-up companies and office space will be leased at about 50% of market rates. A new police office, stairwell, and elevator will also be added to the main floor of the courthouse building, while a maker space is planned in the basement.

Next up: The next Tulare County Board of Supervisors meeting will take place on Dec. 6, 2022 at 9 a.m.

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The Fresno Documenters are a group of local residents who are trained and paid to attend and take notes at local public meetings where officials decide how to spend public money and make important decisions...