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GR Redesign Workgroup Background
  Published on Jun 02, 2010 09:53 AM   (13 years ago)
  Published by Monica Nguyen

The current recession is resulting in a steep rise in the General Relief (GR) caseload, which is demonstrating the need to develop a comprehensive plan to reform the GR Program in order to reduce homelessness and reduce the number of indigent adults who rely on the GR Program. Reforming the GR Program must be at the heart of the County's effort to prevent and reduce homelessness among individuals, since at least half of homeless individuals in the County are General Relief participants. Currently, there are over 80,000 participants receiving GR assistance, of whom approximately 49,000 are considered either temporarily or permanently unemployable, constituting about 61% of the caseload. We estimate that as many as 60% of participants receiving GR are homeless.

On April 21, 2009, on a motion by Supervisor Knabe, the Board instructed the Chief Executive Office (CEO), in collaboration with the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) and consultation with County Counsel, to report back on program design for a potential General Relief Program that will better assist participants toward greater self-sufficiency. The expectation is that these individuals would be able to transition off of County assistance, including more targeted efforts to increase the number of participants who receive early SSI approvals and opportunities to prepare for employment, using housing subsidies and case management as a possible alternative to cash payments.

In response to the Board's motion, DPSS committed to constitute an Multi-agency Workgroup consisting of DPSS, CEO, DHS, other County Departments' staff and community advocates to outline an approach to redesign the GR Program. Through this Workgroup, we intend to develop an action plan to redesign the GR Program to better address the increasing need to reduce homelessness, increase employment, and transition GR participants to State/federal assistance programs.

By the end of September 2009, we will provide the Board with the final response, which will include the recommendations set forth by this workgroup.

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