Martinez, CA – The Contra Costa County Office of the Public Defender and the Contra Costa County Health, Housing, and Homeless Services Department have secured a $6 million grant from the California Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) to dramatically expand the Holistic Intervention Partnership (HIP) over the next three years.
HIP launched as a pilot program in June 2020 and knits together an integrated, multidisciplinary team of public agencies and community-based organizations. The HIP team is committed to providing support to those involved in the criminal legal system in order to improve outcomes for indigent Contra Costa County residents who struggle with mental illness, substance dependence, and homelessness.
This expanded funding will also include significant dedicated funds to preserve or provide housing for the estimated 35% of Public Defender clients who are unhoused or at risk of being unhoused. Almost half of the grant’s budget is earmarked for housing staffing and resources, and this funding provides direct dollars for housing, both permanent and short-term, for those impacted by the local criminal legal system. HIP has proven to be an effective tool to support our County’s most vulnerable residents while at the same time reducing incarceration and increasing public safety. With this new award, HIP will provide a substantially expanded and enhanced array of resources, including immediate legal representation, civil legal advocacy, and community-based services for at least 900 people over three years.
“We are so grateful that, with this state grant, we will be able to expand access to critical legal, housing, mental health and reentry services to support those involved in our criminal legal system and ensure that they have the resources that they need in order to be successful in our community,” said Chief Public Defender Ellen McDonnell.
The award is funded through revenues generated by Proposition 47, a 2014 voter-approved initiative that reduced the penalties for some nonviolent crimes from felonies to misdemeanors and directed the state incarceration savings to be used to increase community-based resources in jurisdictions throughout the state of California.
HIP is a partnership of the Contra Costa County Public Defender’s Office; County Health, Housing and Homeless Services; County Behavioral Health Division; County Employment and Human Services Department; Rubicon Programs and its Reentry Success Center; and the Hume Center.