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COF Housing Navigation Center Project


The City of Fremont’s Human Services Department has approached Niles Discovery Church to explore the possibility of installing a Housing Navigation Center on the piece of undeveloped land between our big parking lot and Nursery Avenue, affectionally known as “squirrel hill.” This project will be paid for by a grant received by the City of Fremont for such a purpose. This will include grading and paving of Squirrel Hill, setting up modular units with plumbing and electricity, and fencing off the area. The project would last a minimum of five years.

What we know so far

Here is how the Temporary Housing Navigation Center might be laid out on the Niles Discovery Church Site. A fence will be put around the perimeter of the site with a gate for access and exit. The program would have a set number of participants, who would be allowed to stay for up to 6 months (hopefully exited into more stable housing situations). It will not be a first come first serve homeless shelter. It will be supervised on a 24 hour basis. Staff will be onsite at all times.

Planning has has been told to not take any parking spaces in the main parking lot. One option is to use the street parking on the other side of the street at the California Nursery. Street parking can also be added in front of the church. This would be relatively easy to do. These would be parallel parking slots.

The City is currently developing a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) asking homeless serving organizations for their interest and expertise in operating a Housing Navigation Center for the City of Fremont. In terms of temporary we have envisioned a five year program horizon. This could mean a two to three year operating contract with options to renew.

What the Human Services Department has said about this project:

We are interested in replicating the Housing Navigation Model called the STAIR program in Berkeley which has been very successful. We have explained how this model works to members of your congregation. We are hoping to serve up to 45 individuals (adults) for stays of up to 6 months with the focus on preparing these participants for placement in more stable housing. The program as we have indicated will not be a drop-in center.

We have been in discussion with several organizations which might have interest in operating such a program in Fremont, this includes Abode Services and Bay Area Community Services. BACS has expressed interest in sharing their qualifications to operate a program and we have not yet heard back from Abode.

The program which we are developing would help us get more people off the street into safe living conditions and also help homeless participants obtain more permanent housing. This project would augment services currently being provided by Abode, which includes the operation of Sunrise Village (a permanent shelter) where participants currently have no limitation on how long they may reside there. This shelter has provided valuable services, operating for well over 20+ years. Unfortunately, until recently there has been little opportunity to create additional shelter beds in our area, while the homeless population is expanding. Abode has now become a non-profit housing developer with much of their interest focused on the production of permanent supportive housing for the homeless, a much needed commodity if we are to get homeless folks into stable housing.


City of Fremont's HEAP application for the Grant
BACS Wellness Center's Operating Agreement

This page will be updated as new information is gathered. It was last updated on 5/15/2019.