BEHAVIORAL HEALTH Bridge Housing

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About the Behavioral Health Bridge Housing (BHBH) Program

Through the Behavioral Health Bridge Housing (BHBH) Program, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will provide a total of $1.5 billion in funding to county behavioral health agencies and Tribal entities to operate bridge housing settings to address the immediate housing needs of people experiencing homelessness who have serious behavioral health conditions, including serious mental illness (SMI) and/or substance use disorder (SUD). The program, which was signed into law in September 2022 under Assembly Bill 179 (Ting, Chapter 249, Statutes of 2022), provides funding through June 30, 2027.

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will distribute funding in multiple rounds, as described in the table below

Behavioral Health Bridge Housing Program Funding Rounds​

RoundEligibilityTimeline
1
County behavioral health agencies
2
Tribal Entites RFA — Round 2B now available. Applications open March 1, 2024
3
County Behavioral Health Agencies – Strategic Enhancements Request for Application
January 16, 2024
4
Competitive RFA for county behavioral health agencies and tribal entities
TBD

The BHBH Program builds on the CalHHS Guiding Principles and Strategic Priorities  and enables DHCS through its county and tribal partners to meaningfully contribute to the implementation of the California Interagency Council on Homelessness’s Action Plan for Preventing and Ending Homelessness in California. The BHBH Program will be implemented in alignment with the Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Program, which prioritizes BHBH Program resources for CARE participants. 

DHCS has engaged Advocates for Human Potential, Inc.—with partners Aurrera Health Group, Homebase, the Center for Common Concerns, Native Americans for Restorative Stewardship, and Perch Projects—to serve as the administrative entity supporting BHBH Program implementation.  

ending homelessness young man sitting on chair

The Need for BHBH

BHBH represents a major investment in ending homelessness in California. In January 2023, point-in-time estimates of homelessness conducted nationwide revealed that Californians accounted for almost half (49%) of Americans experiencing homelessness. (The California count identified 123,423 persons, and the national count identified 233,854.) Serious behavioral health conditions are prevalent among people experiencing homelessness in California: 27,774 (24.0%) reported having serious mental illness (SMI), and 28,999 (25.1%) reported a substance use disorder (SUD). However, because these figures rely on self-reports, the prevalence of SMI and SUD may be significantly higher. Serious behavioral health conditions (SMI and SUD) can pose a significant obstacle to exiting homelessness and establishing housing stability.