Tribes & Tribal Entities

New Funding Opportunity for Tribal Entities

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is pleased to announce the Behavioral Health Bridge Housing (BHBH) Program Tribal Entities Request for Applications (RFA).

The BHBH Program Tribal Entities RFA will make up to $50 million available for use in the planning and implementation of bridge housing services for individuals in Tribal communities who are experiencing homelessness and have serious behavioral health conditions, including serious mental illness and/or substance use disorder.

DHCS has engaged Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP), a consulting and research firm focused on improving health and human services systems, to serve as the BHBH Program administrative entity. AHP and partners will offer technical assistance  throughout the course of this grant.

DHCS will release award announcements soon.

The application period ended September 15, 2023. 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Homelessness in Tribal Communities

The primary focus of the BHBH Program is to help those experiencing homelessness who have serious behavioral health conditions that prevent them from accessing help and moving out of homelessness. California is home to the largest population of American Indians/Alaska Natives in the nation, approximately 720,000 individuals. Research documents a large, unmet need for new homes throughout California’s tribal lands, resulting in overcrowding and substandard housing. Sixty percent of California tribes cite homelessness and accessibility to stable housing as challenges in their communities. Serious mental illness (SMI) and substance use disorders (SUD) can significantly increase obstacles to exiting homelessness and establishing housing stability.

Disparities Affecting Tribal Communities

Historic systemic imbalances continue to create disparities for Native American tribes, among them the fact that over 60 percent of Native American communities have no access to high-speed internet, which severely limits their ability to access education, employment, healthcare, and other essential services. Due to historical community trauma responses, Native American communities are highly vulnerable to mental illness. In addition, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that Native Americans have the highest rates of substance use disorders in the United States, more than any other ethnicity.

Tribal people have a cultural need to be close to their traditional homelands—separation from family and culture frequently compounds symptoms of mental illness and substance use. Overcrowded, multi-generational housing set-ups are common among Tribal communities due to the general lack of access to affordable housing. There is a clear need for services, facilities, and housing to be closer to traditional homelands in the interest of communities’ systemic wellness.

DHCS’s Addressing the Opioid Crisis in American Indian & Alaska Native Communities in California: A Statewide Needs Assessment, listed barriers to treatment that included unstable housing, fragmented service delivery, and a lack of residential treatment facilities for substance use disorders. Per the recommendations of that 2019 report, providing culturally centered services, maintaining resiliency in the community, and emphasizing cultural connectedness can lead to healing an individual’s spiritual, mental, and physical strength.