Logo: Behavioral Health Bridge Housing


Housing for Health.
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Behavioral Health Bridge Housing (BHBH)

Winter 2021-22

Governor Newsom announces BHBH funding

Summer 2022
BHBH funding approved through passage of CA
Fall 2022

Stakeholder Engagement

Winter 2022-23

Release of RFA to counties

Spring 2023

County BHBH implementation

Spring 2023

Release of RFA to tribal entities

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 and sustainable housing needs of people experiencing homelessness who have serious behavioral health conditions, including a 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.

Overview of Behavioral Health Bridge Housing Program Funding Rounds

Anticipated RFA Release Date Funding Amount Eligibility Type
February 2023
County BHAs
Noncompetitive predetermined
funding distribution
Late Spring 2023
Tribal Entities
Late Summer 2023
BHAs and Tribal Entities
Fiscal Year 2024-25
BHAs and Tribal Entities

*These competitive rounds will take into consideration activities accomplished in the initial grant period that may include but are not limited to the number of bridge housing beds active and the number of individuals served in bridge housing.

The BHBH Program builds on the California Health and Human Services Agency’s (CalHHS’s) Guiding Principles and Strategic Priorities and enables DHCS and grantees to meaningfully contribute to the implementation of the California Interagency Council on Homelessness’ 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 resources for CARE participants.

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

ending homelessness young man sitting on chair

The Need for BHBH

BHBH represents a major investment in ending homelessness in California. In January 2022, point-in-time estimates of homelessness conducted nationwide revealed that Californians accounted for nearly half (49.6%) of Americans experiencing homelessness. (The California count identified 115,941 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.