HDAP (Housing Disabilities Advocacy Program)
HDAP is a county administered program that assists disabled individuals who are experiencing homelessness apply for disability benefit programs while also providing housing assistance. The HDAP requires that counties offer outreach, case management, advocacy, and housing assistance to all program participants. The 2016 Kern Homelessness Census shows that on any given night, there are approximately 1,100 homeless people in Kern County. The Homeless Census Report also reports that 109 homeless individuals were hospitalized for behavioral health conditions. In Kern county, there are approximately 27,000 people receiving SSI do to a disability. These people generally reflect the overall demographics of the county. During the 2016 Community Needs Assessment, research identified 17.1% of adults in Kern County experienced some form of behavioral health distress and 21.4% of adults needed help for emotional, mental health, alcohol or drug issues and 85.5% of those who sought help did not receive it. The program is targeted at individuals with disabilities who are experiencing homelessness and those that appear to be or are likely eligible for disability benefit programs. Counties are required to assess their local need and coordinate a system to ensure populations with the highest needs are given the highest priority for services.
The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) recently received authority to launch a new Housing and Disability Income Advocacy Program (HDAP). The 2017-18 California State Budget appropriated $43,461,000 for the program, which is available over a three year period, from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2020.
Assembly Bill (AB) 1603 (Chapter 25, Statutes of 2016) established the Housing and Disability Income Advocacy Program (HDAP). The HDAP is a county administered program that assists individuals (including those in families) who are (1) homeless and (2) may be eligible for disability benefits. The HDAP requires that counties offer outreach, case management, advocacy, and housing assistance to all program participants. The Welfare and Institutions (W&I) Code section 18999 outlines HDAP program requirements. Specifically, the W&I Code details the types of disability income benefit programs that should be sought out by counties on behalf of HDAP program participants, how participants shall be prioritized, the populations that should be targeted to participate in HDAP, the components that must be included in the program, and the types of benefits and services that shall be provided to program participants. Counties receiving state HDAP funds shall match the state funding on a dollar- for dollar basis.
The state of California has provided HDAP funding to reimburse counties for services provided to the homeless and disabled. Working together to monitor the implementation of HDAP will build a coalition with expertees and relationships that can be more effective in advocating for better safety net policies in Kern. The amount allocated for each county is determined by the number of people receiving General Relief. If Kern had a more robust safety net system the county would receive more resources to address homelessness. CAP hopes to expand our partnership of low income and people of color and marginalized communities. Low income communities in Kern need to have a say on how county resources are used. Working together to monitor the implementation of HDAP will establish strong working relationships between community advocates, county agency heads and elected officials to build a stronger safety net in the county.