Shelter Coastside Inn
The County of San Mateo is committed to providing shelter for vulnerable people experiencing homelessness and others who are at a greater risk of infection due to COVID-19.
The Board of Supervisors on Dec. 8, 2020 voted 5-0 to buy the Coastside Inn that will serve as a shelter that supports residents’ while they seek long-term housing.
The Board allocated up to $8,035,000 in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to purchase the Coastside Inn, located at 230 S. Cabrillo Highway (Highway 1) in Half Moon Bay.
The County expects to prioritize local area populations who are highly vulnerable to COVID-19 (people who are elderly, those with medical conditions such as cancer, heart disease) for participation in the program as feasible. The County will work with an operator to provide extensive services to residents.
The property includes 52 rooms within a half mile of grocery stores, pharmacies and a farmer’s market. San Mateo County Health also has a dental clinic and a Behavioral Health and Recovery Services clinic less than 1,000 feet away.
This is the first and only shelter along the San Mateo County coast, where the County’s 2019 one-day count of unsheltered individuals found 230 homeless people on the coast from Pacifica south.
The property could potentially be converted to permanent affordable housing in the future depending on the County’s shelter and housing needs.
What is the shelter?
The Coast House Shelter is a homeless shelter that provides safe temporary living accommodations and intensive on-site support services to assist people experiencing homelessness with finding and moving into permanent housing. San Mateo County acquired a building in December 2020 in Half Moon Bay that was previously a hotel to create this new shelter program. The County began a small pilot shelter program at the site, which was in operation until late April 2021, when the new shelter program operated by the non-profit LifeMoves was launched. The County’s long-term goal is to convert the site into affordable housing.
Why was the shelter started?
Prior to the launch of the County’s pilot shelter program in December 2020, there were no shelters on the coast side. There were, however, significant needs. The 2019 One Day Homeless Count found 230 unsheltered homeless individuals living in Half Moon Bay, Pacifica, and the unincorporated areas of the coast side.
After years of work by various stakeholders to create a new shelter program to assist people experiencing unsheltered homelessness on the coast side, a unique opportunity presented itself late last year. The County utilized available time-limited federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to purchase a facility. When the Coastside Inn became available for purchase, the County acquired the property using these CARES Act funds. The County converted the site into a shelter to assist people experiencing homelessness and vulnerable to COVID-19.
Who is served?
The Coast House Shelter serves San Mateo County residents who are experiencing homelessness. To meet the needs of unsheltered individuals on the coast side, these residents will have priority to enter the shelter. Since the greatest need for shelter is for adults and since there are existing services for families throughout the County, Coast House Shelter primarily serves adults. However, the program will also serve a limited number of families who are experiencing homelessness.
Is the program staffed 24/7?
Yes. LifeMoves, the non-profit that operates the Coast House Shelter under a contract with the County, staffs the shelter 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, ensuring the safety and security of the premises for occupants.
Are services provided on site?
Yes. LifeMoves delivers intensive on-site services. The program conducts a thorough assessment with each program participant. Based on that assessment, staff members work with each participant to develop a plan to locate and secure permanent housing. LifeMoves staff members provide case management, support with housing searches, assistance with employment opportunities and financial resources, and help accessing health services (including mental health and substance abuse services). In addition to its intensive on-site services, LifeMoves partners with community agencies such as Abundant Grace, Coastside Hope, ALAS, El Centro de Libertad, and the Coastside Clinic to support program participants as they transition to permanent housing.
How long do participants stay at the shelter?
Homeless shelter programs are intended to be short term, with shelter stays averaging 120 days to six months. However, due to the current pandemic, stays have been longer. The shelter program provides temporary housing while offering a pathway for participants to permanent housing. LifeMoves case management services focus on helping shelter residents identify long-term housing solutions.
What are the expectations of the program participants?
LifeMoves screens program participants, and participants must adhere to program’s guidelines to continue their enrollment in the program.
How do people access this program?
Referrals into this program, and all other shelter programs in San Mateo County, are made through the Coordinated Entry System, which is accessed at any of the eight Core Service Agencies located throughout the County. The Core Service Agencies on the coast side are Coastside Hope, Puente de la Costa Sur, and Pacifica Resource Center. For individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness who are unable to access a Core Service Agency, homeless outreach case managers from LifeMoves or Pacifica Resource Center will meet with them in the community and help them connect to the Coordinated Entry System.
Is this program specifically for people who have COVID-19?
No. This program is not for those with a COVID-19 diagnosis. The pilot program focused on serving people experiencing homelessness who were especially vulnerable to COVID-19, including, but not limited to, the elderly and individuals with existing medical conditions such as cancer or heart disease.
Will this program eliminate homelessness in the area?
While Coast House Shelter is a significant resource for people experiencing homelessness and will undoubtedly contribute to decreasing unsheltered homelessness in San Mateo County, it is likely that some unsheltered individuals may still choose to live in their current locations. The County’s homeless services providers will continue to outreach and engage unsheltered individuals in the community, to build trust and encourage individuals to access services, shelter, and housing.
When did this program start?
The County began a small pilot shelter program at the Coastside Inn in December 2020. This pilot program served up to 15 individuals while the County, in collaboration with the City of Half Moon Bay and local stakeholders, planned the new ongoing shelter. The County conducted a Request for Proposals process for a shelter provider in early 2021 and selected LifeMoves to operate shelter services at the Coast House Shelter. LifeMoves has extensive experience operating homeless and housing programs in San Mateo County and Santa Clara County, including providing services to unsheltered individuals on the coast side. The pilot program ended on April 21, 2021, and the ongoing shelter program, operated by LifeMoves, began.
Site Selection and Future Plans
How was the hotel acquisition funded?
The County used federal CARES Act funding for the acquisition. The City of Half Moon Bay did not fund the purchase of the building.
What will be the impact on City of Half Moon Bay’s revenue?
The Coastside Inn will no longer generate Transit Occupancy Tax (TOT) since it is not operating as a hotel. The County will work with the City to explore potential options for generating the City’s lost TOT revenue over the coming years. Having a shelter located in Half Moon Bay may reduce the City’s costs associated with assisting unsheltered homeless Half Moon Bay residents.
Community Involvement and Next Steps
How can the community be involved?
The County works closely with LifeMoves on all aspects of the program. Additionally, with support from the County and LifeMoves, the City of Half Moon Bay facilitates Coast House Shelter’s Community Advisory Committee, which aims to promote communication between residents, businesses, and community agencies, to increase community awareness of homelessness, and to generate support for the operation of the shelter. LifeMoves and the County will also be exploring additional opportunities for community involvement, such as volunteer opportunities.
If issues occur, who can we contact?
LifeMoves and the County of San Mateo work diligently to prevent issues and address any concerns that arise. For questions about the Coast House Shelter, you may contact Jacob Stone, LifeMoves Director of Shelters and Services, at (650) 222-4268 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact the County’s Human Services Agency Center on Homelessness at HSA_Homeless_Programs@smcgov.org.