KING CITY — City of King’s Homekey Project application has been awarded $12.4 million to provide housing and support services to those facing or at risk of homelessness in the community.

The grant, announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 15, will be added to $3.5 million from other state and county grant-funding commitments for the City’s acquisition, renovation and conversion of the Days Inn Hotel into 45 permanent supportive units.

“This is great news for our city and absolutely appreciate the governor and his administration for this grant to help us, help those in need, in our community,” said King City Mayor Mike LeBarre. “This award wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless efforts of our city staff working together with our local and state partners. I hope our success will encourage other communities to create solutions to help their most vulnerable.”

The multimillion-dollar project will renovate and make significant improvements to the Days Inn building and site, located on San Antonio Drive in King City. Project partners include Shangri-La Industries as the developer and Step Up on Second as the operator, both of which have a track record of successfully developing and operating these projects.

Under the operation of Step Up on Second, the King City project will provide both housing and support services needed to help those experiencing chronic homelessness to recover, stabilize and integrate into the community.

The project, expected to be operational by this fall, will also be coordinated with Monterey County’s efforts to address existing encampments along the Salinas River.

“I’m proud to have partnered with the City of King and others to help make this project a reality,” said Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez on social media. “It’s time to move forward together, compassionately. Let’s get this done and get the river cleaned up.”

King City Council recently approved the Homekey Project as part of a comprehensive strategy to address the issue of homelessness in the community, “which is a complex and growing problem impacting most communities,” according to City Manager Steve Adams in a news release.

The proposal was originally developed through the City’s homeless services coordinating committee, which includes representatives from agencies involved in homeless issues and services, community members and faith community leaders. It was formed several years ago to develop effect solutions to this problem, Adams said.

Last September King City also joined House America — alongside California House America team partners Gov. Newsom and the mayors of Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose — to answer the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s call to action to re-house 100,000 households experiencing homelessness and add 20,000 new units of affordable housing into the development pipeline by Dec. 31, 2022.

“This grant will help the City exceed its House America goal of creating 40 permanent supportive units for the community’s most vulnerable and shows that all cities, no matter the size, can play a part to make sure the residents we serve have quality housing,” Adams said.

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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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