Launching a Nonprofit to Build Affordable Housing for Special Populations

Cities and counties throughout the Bay Area are facing a dire affordable housing crisis. In Alameda County alone, homelessness grew by 40 percent from 2015 to 2017, with 41 percent of those experiencing homelessness reporting that a severe mental illness impacted their ability to obtain housing. Regional fires and the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated this crisis. In response, the county is working to establish the Alameda County Supportive Housing Community Alliance (CLA), which will provide stable and supportive housing for individuals living with mental illness, especially those who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color. With the possible resurgence of COVID-19 infections, the need to establish the CLA quickly is critical.

To support this work, Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services is partnering with FUSE Executive Fellow Karen Nemsick to build the CLA into a fully operational, self-sustaining nonprofit institution. The result will be an enterprise that also helps combat the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on some of Alameda County’s most vulnerable populations.