Project Homekey Update

Supervisor Katie Rice 

Project Homekey Update

Dear District 2 Resident,

Over the past couple of months, I have heard from many of you regarding the proposal to convert the current vacant building at 1251 S. Eliseo to permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless individuals. I appreciate the community’s interest and concerns and welcome all questions and comments. I also want to make sure that folks have accurate information regarding the proposal.

Currently there is information/petition circulating in the community opposing the site selection and suggesting that our Board will be deciding on the project this month. I write today to clarify some of the misinformation included in the petition, and also to let folks know that no action or decision on this project will be made till late January if indeed the project receives state approval.

Specifically: we anticipate hearing from the State in late December/early January whether the Eliseo Site is awarded a Homekey grant. If awarded, a hearing of the Board of Supervisors (BOS) will be scheduled in late January in order to formally approve acceptance of the grant. If approved, Episcopal Community Services (ECS) will have 12 months/one year from date of award to complete improvements to the site and begin moving residents into the new housing. 

I will be holding a third community zoom in early to mid-January (date to be announced soon) before the January BOS meeting date in order to update residents, hear comments and concerns and answer questions.

See below for a bit of background about the project proposal, the process, and next steps. There is much more detailed information at the project website, including a comprehensive FAQ which is currently being updated, that responds to many of the questions and concerns that have been raised. I hope you will take the time to learn more and continue to be engaged.  

1251 S.Eliseo

As you are probably aware, 1251 S. Eliseo operated as a skilled nursing home and then a shelter for victims of domestic violence for many years but has been vacant for some time. The County in partnership with ECS is currently considering it for conversion to permanent housing under the state’s Project Homekey program. Potential future residents of this housing would be individuals who are currently unhoused or have experienced homelessness several times in recent years. Candidates for S. Eliseo will have medical issues, disabilities, or other health needs that require onsite support and access to other services. They would be offered placement in this housing through the County’s coordinated entry system.

As permanent supportive housing, residents will have access to a host of wraparound services ranging from medical care, mental and behavioral health, substance use treatment, work and career development. The site will be staffed 24/7 and ECS will also have a Community Safety Services team, which will have an external presence, serving as community liaisons and the “eyes and ears” outside of the facility.

Over the past couple of months, (indeed as soon as the Eliseo building was announced as a potential site), there’s been quite a bit of outreach and community engagement including: direct outreach to immediate neighbors, meetings with leadership from the local schools and Larkspur City Council, with Marin Health and Marin Community Clinics, and more. ECS, which will be the owner and operator of 1251 S. Eliseo, and county staff, have also been meeting with residents and community stakeholders to provide information, answer questions, and receive input. There have been two general community zooms (on project website), and a third held on November 18th specifically for the parents and staff of the Kentfield School District, Marin Enrichment, and Ross Valley Nursery School .

community advisory group was formed at the end of November and includes representatives from Opening Doors Marin, Episcopal Community Services, Larkspur City Council, the Kentfield School District and Safe Routes, County staff, Central Marin Police Authority and six residents living near 1251 S. Eliseo.  The purpose of this advisory group will be to provide an ongoing mechanism to provide input and feedback on program and site design. It is modeled on the structure for Corte Madera’s Casa Buena Homekey projects Community Advisory Group (established in 2020), designed to ensure the project is successful for residents, nearby neighbors, and the broader Corte Madera community.

Regarding the potential future residents of S. Eliseo and homelessness in Marin, generally: While in many ways the unhoused population in other parts of the Bay Area is much more visible than here in Marin, homelessness is absolutely a Marin issue as well. 73% of the over 1000 individuals identified as homeless in Marin's 2019 Point in Time count lived here before they lost their housing. This data is borne out by the experience of our service providers who report that a significant percentage of people they are supporting grew up in this county. While the County is not permitted to restrict local housing programs to people who are from Marin County, of the 400 formerly homeless individuals we have placed in housing over the past four years, the vast majority are people who lived in Marin before they lost their housing. Many were born and raised here. 

As mentioned above, the County should learn if a Homekey Grant is awarded by late December/early January, I’ll be holding a community forum in early/mid-January and the BOS will be voting on acceptance of the grant in late January.

Thank you for taking the time to read this very long eblast! I encourage you to also visit the project website to learn more about the proposal.  You can submit any questions you have through the website and sign up for updates as well.


Katie Sig 

Katie Rice
Contact Info:
Supervisor Katie Rice
District 2 Aides:
Nancy Vernon
Crystal Martinez