Health care provider Kaiser Permanente said Friday it is committing $25 million to become the first private sector contributor to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s newly announced fund to combat homelessness.
Kaiser Permanente’s Southern California regional headquarters are in Pasadena.
The pledge supports efforts by Kaiser Permanente statewide and builds on the $200 million in impact investments that Kaiser Permanente has announced in recent years in support of community health. It also complements ongoing sustainable rapid-housing programs and efforts to strengthen systems that can end chronic homelessness.
Newsom announced the creation of the $750 million California Access to Housing and Services Fund in a preview of his 2020-2021 budget on January 8, calling on corporate and philanthropic organizations to contribute to the fund. The fund will focus on prevention and early intervention by paying rent for individuals experiencing homelessness or on the verge of losing housing.
“Chronic homelessness has been shown to cut 27 years from the average life span and is associated with communicable diseases such as hepatitis and typhus, increased hospitalizations, and frequent readmissions,” Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Greg Adams said in a statement. “Safe and stable housing is key to a person’s physical, mental and social health, so we applaud the governor’s plan to address homelessness.”
The California Access to Housing and Services Fund is the cornerstone of Newsom’s budget proposal, which allocates more than $1 billion to address homelessness. Funds will be given directly to local providers throughout California by the Department of Social Services.
“The homelessness crisis impacts every community in California and it’s on all of us to step up and lean in to find solutions,” Gov. Newsom said. “Just nine days after challenging California’s philanthropic and private sectors to partner with the state, Kaiser Permanente answered the call.”
Kaiser Permanente’s work to combat homelessness includes a successful initiative with Bay Area Community Services to house 515 Oakland adults above the age of 50 and battling chronic health conditions.