DignityMoves Declares Interim Supportive Housing Has Caught Traction

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May 15, 2024

DignityMoves Declares Interim Supportive Housing Has Caught Traction

3 Grand Openings, 3 Groundbreakings, and the Interim Supportive Housing Act passing the CA State Senate in the past 6 weeks demonstrate the success of Interim Supportive Housing in California

San Jose, CAOn April 29, DignityMoves, the Salvation Army, Santa Clara County, and the city of San Jose unveiled plans to build 120 interim housing beds for people experiencing homelessness who are struggling with substance abuse addictions, alongside an upgrade and remodeling of the Salvation Army’s Emmanuel House. 

On May 1, DignityMoves and the City of San Jose broke ground on a 150-bed interim supportive housing community on a parcel of land owned by a private developer and leased to the city for a dollar a year for 10 years. Partially funded by private philanthropy in a unique public-private partnership, this model is designed to serve as a template for future projects in San Jose as it works towards maintaining momentum in the city’s quest to an unsheltered homelessness citywide.

Rendering for the interim housing community coming to Via del Oro in San Jose, CA.

These two projects are the next in a series of grand openings and groundbreakings hosted by DignityMoves, a new nonprofit that is dedicated to addressing unsheltered homelessness. 

“Unsheltered homelessness is only one part of a much more complex web of issues,” said Elizabeth Funk, Founder and CEO of DignityMoves. “Only permanent housing ends homelessness literally. Yet unsheltered homelessness is the most visible, most humane, and most solvable part of this complex issue.” 

Interim Supportive Housing (“ISH”) is a new type of intervention that is surging in popularity across the state of California. ISH is distinct from “shelter” in that everyone has their own private room with a door that locks. The typical resident stays for an extended duration ranging from six months to two years, rather than a few days as in traditional shelters.

ISH also differs from permanent housing in that it is not intended to be a resident’s long-term housing solution. Instead, it is intended for stabilization and navigating on the road towards a permanent solution.

Grand Opening of Hope Village – Santa Maria in Santa Barbara County. Image courtesy of Mooncrest Media.

In March, DignityMoves celebrated grand openings at Hope Village in Santa Maria and La Posada in Santa Barbara County, as well as a groundbreaking ceremony for 50 units in the city of Thousand Oaks. In addition, DignityMoves celebrated a grand opening in the city of Grover Beach in partnership with 5Cities Homeless Coalition for 30 beds.

DignityMoves has been at the forefront of driving the rapid adoption of Interim Supportive Housing as a new, critical tool in the homelessness solutions toolkit. The success of its first communities in San Francisco and Santa Barbara demonstrated how fast and cost-effectively interim housing can be delivered, a wave of interest has surged across the state.

DignityMoves interim housing communities are now underway in regions across the state including Modesto, Watsonville, Oakland, San Luis Obispo, San Bernardino, Ojai, and others.

“In our first two years of operations, DignityMoves built four communities with a total of 200 units,” said Joanne Price, Cofounder and Chief Real Estate Officer at DignityMoves. “In this quarter alone, we are doubling by adding another 210 rooms, and this year we have over 1,500 rooms in our pipeline.” 

Exponential growth demonstrates that cities are eager to embrace this new model. As with any new system, the existing laws and metrics are not designed for ISH to flourish. Sen. Josh Becker has therefore authored SB 1395, the Interim Housing Act.

Founder and CEO Elizabeth Funk speaks alongside co-sponsors at a press conference announcing SB 1395, the Interim Housing Act.

Cosponsored by DignityMoves, the Bay Area Council, SPUR, and Mayor Matt Mahan’s Office in San Jose, this legislation will clarify the uncertainties municipalities face in understanding interim housing and where it fits in their strategic plans. The act confirms that interim housing is a valid state program, removes any ambiguities about CEQA, and extends the sunset for existing streamlining authorities: Shelter Crisis Act and Low Barrier Navigation Centers. 

Combining the extension of these acts and other streamlining provisions sends a very strong message to municipalities that the state embraces interim supportive housing and is paving the way to make it easy for cities to adopt this model rapidly and cost-effectively.


About DignityMoves

DignityMoves is an innovative new nonprofit dedicated to ending unsheltered homelessness. DignityMoves’ model of building Interim Supportive Housing is a rapid, cost-effective, and thus, scalable solution. This organization applies Silicon Valley-style disruptive thinking and private-sector approaches in ways that traditional nonprofits and governments often don’t. Learn more at dignitymoves.org


Richard Laermer
RLM Public Relations


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