East Beamer Way Neighborhood Campus Project
The East Beamer Neighborhood Campus Project represents a paradigm shift in serving people experiencing homelessness through the provision of both shelter and services.
The City of Woodland and County of Yolo, in collaboration with local nonprofit Friends of the Mission, funded construction of the adult-only emergency shelter. In addition to State of California Homekey funding, Partnership HealthPlan of California (PHC), Dignity Health Woodland Memorial Hospital, and the Sutter Foundation have also made significant contributions toward the project.
The City commenced construction of the Emergency Shelter in June 2020 and the facility was occupied by January 2021 when the City turned the keys and land over to Friends of the Mission and shelter operator Fourth & Hope. The first of three East Beamer Way developments, the Shelter was followed by 61 permanent supportive manufactured homes that were completed in Fall 2022 and fully occupied by early 2023. The new Walter's House substance use disorder treatment facility will break ground in 2023, providing expanded bed capacity and support for those struggling with drugs, alcohol, and other substances. Unhoused families will “backfill” the current Walter's House facility in Downtown Woodland, providing desperately needed family shelter here in Yolo County.
Resident social services will be key to the Neighborhood Campus' success, supporting those in need of mental health and substance use assistance. Leaving unhoused individuals on the street often results in substantial personal and property damage, illness, and death. People struggling with homelessness frequently use emergency departments and other critical services. Housing those experiencing homelessness decreases the number of visits made to emergency departments by more than 50%. In addition, recently unhoused individuals who receive shelter like that at East Beamer are more receptive to interventions and social services support. In many ways, housing is health care.
Broward Builders, Inc., a Woodland business for over 30 years and the builder of the Woodland Senior and Community Center, partnered with the City to construct the shelter facility. The permanent supportive housing units were manufactured locally by Woodland’s own Cutting Edge Modular.
The East Beamer Neighborhood Campus permanent supportive housing units promote resident engagement by clustering the dwellings around a green, a garden, and a small community and health center. Each duplex dwelling consists of two compact, independent living units with individual entries and one common wall which saves land, energy, and construction costs. 50 of the 61 dwellings are one-bedroom units to serve single clients or those with a partner or with a child, and 11 two-bedroom units house families. Five of the units will provide full accessibility, from the street entrance to parking access.
Both the design of the units and the site as a whole fuel a sense of place. The forthcoming green, a place to sit or lounge, or the garden, where residents can collaborate on planting and cultivating, together provide the opportunity to strengthen bonds within a supportive and welcoming community.