Pilot Program to address homelessness at Millbrae BART shows early signs of success

in Community

Gathered in a press conference on Tuesday morning, local officials hailed the success of Millbrae’s new pilot program to address homelessness, with positive outcomes on temporary housing placements and shelter referrals exceeding the initial goals within its first six months.

Launched at the beginning of this year, the program employs two social workers who conduct homelessness outreach at the Millbrae BART station. The station is the last stop on BART’s peninsula route, and also were homeless individuals are kicked off by police after the final run of the day.

“Funding these positions was a critical step in addressing homelessness in Millbrae,” said Millbrae Mayor Anne Oliva.

The City of Millbrae provided $150,000 and San Mateo County provided $100,000 to fund the project and partnered with local non-profit LifeMoves, which provides unhoused individuals, couples, and families with resources and housing connections.

Since the launch of the program, the social workers with LifeMoves have successfully placed 126 people they encountered at the Millbrae BART station in temporary housing, far surpassing its initial goal of 20 temporary placements.

According to the City of Millbrae, 95% of their homeless population are individuals who were removed from BART, an issue the City’s Vice Mayor Gina Papan said requires everyone’s support.

“Time and again, we have tried to work with BART on this issue. Time and again, they say it’s not their problem and to ask the County for help,” she said.

The City is also requesting support from the State of California and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for legislation that would direct 0.5% of all transit funding from BART towards solutions to homelessness.