HAYWARD, Calif. — The Alameda County Office of Education has granted nonprofit Covenant House of California $485,000 to help it deal with the increasing costs of building a shelter for Hayward area youths.
During the recent Alameda County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14, Superintendent Alysse Castro announced the allocation to support the construction of the Hayward/Mid-Alameda County Navigation Center. Initially projected to cost $1.7 million in 2021, the center’s expenses have surged to an estimated $4.1 million, mainly because of increased contractor costs as outlined in the presented budget.
The granted $485,000 aims to bridge some of the funding gap, enabling Covenant House to progress with construction plans.
The navigation center will feature eight prefabricated 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom homes with fully equipped kitchens, accommodating four youths per unit, to serve a total of 30 young people. Covenant House plans to offer wraparound services, including mental health support and education spaces, at the center.
The center is expected to serve Hayward area transitional age youths, defined as between the ages of 18 and 25, who are experiencing homelessness. There are about 800 people in that age range who are experiencing homelessness on any given night in Alameda County, according to the 2022 point-in-time count.
Covenant House is working with a variety of local partners, including the city of Hayward, and is leasing the land from the Hayward Unified School District. It has secured large chunks of funding from other sources, including $809,602 from the Homeless Emergency Aid Program; $1.5 million from the Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention program; and $1.6 million in philanthropic donations.
Originally slated for 2024, the grand opening is expected to face delays because of the cost increases.
Sonia Waraich can be reached at 510-952-7455.
Photo caption: Thanks to a $485,000 allocation from the Alameda County Office of Education, work can continue at construction site of the Hayward/Mid-Alameda County Navigation Center (photographed). (Sonia Waraich – East Bay Echo)