Davis Community Meals and Housing (DCMH) opened its doors in 1990 as a non-profit, non-denominational volunteer organization serving a free weekly meal to people in and around Davis who were homeless or without financial resources.
Realizing the need for greater services, a Davis Community Meals and Housing board committee and other interested individuals began exploring opportunities. A post office box was donated by a local businessman for use by individuals and families without an address. Local self-service laundries provided free or reduced cost services as well.
By January 1993, DCMH was operating a Cold Weather Shelter for homeless individuals and families in a city-owned house. The Meals Program expanded to include a second free meal each week. A Resource Center opened in November 1993 to complement the Cold Weather Shelter. Here homeless and at-risk individuals and families could access referrals to local services and receive assistance in finding housing.
For more than a year, DCMH sought to acquire a permanent site for the Shelter and Resource Center. With the help of many community residents and the financial support of the city, a triplex at 1111 H Street was acquired and renovated.
The permanent building enabled DCMH to provide more stability and continuity. A year-round Transitional Housing Program was added. Fourteen of the sixteen beds were made available to house single adults for as long as eighteen months, and two beds were reserved for temporary emergency shelter.
In June 2001, DCMH launched a Transitional Housing Program for families at several scattered sites throughout Davis. The staff and volunteer pool grew. In January 2006, the Cold Weather Shelter opened at 512 Fifth Street, housing ten adults: eight men and two women. During the warmer months, this second shelter has been used to house a single homeless family. Also in 2006, the Meals Program expanded to include a third free meal each week through collaboration between DCMH and the UC Davis student group, HELP (Help and Education Leading to Prevention).
During 2005, DCMH entered into a partnership in an affordable housing development with Neighborhood Partners and the Yolo County Housing Authority to create Cesar Chavez Plaza, a new 53-unit single bedroom apartment complex. Nineteen units are set aside for individuals or families facing homelessness or at-risk of becoming homeless due to mental illness, physical disabilities or chronic substance abuse issues. These units are rented at rates that are affordable to those with minimal or fixed incomes. Cesar Chavez opened for occupancy on November 28, 2007 with a DCMH full-time employee on site to provide supportive services to special needs residents and others in the complex.
In early 2015, DCMH began a street outreach program to provide outreach, services and referrals to those individuals and families who were difficult to serve or who did not traditionally seek out services.
In November 2015, DCMH along with it’s partners, Neighborhood Partners and the John Stewart Company, were awarded the right to construct Creekside Permanent Supportive Housing, 90 units of permanent supportive housing with units set aside for chronically homeless individuals with special needs. The project is based on our existing Cesar Chavez Plaza complex.
In December 2015, DCMH began coordinating services and providing staffing to the Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter of Davis.
In February 2016, DCMH along with partners Yolo County Housing, Yolo Community Care Continuum, the county of Yolo and the City of Davis, collaborated to open New Pathways, bridge housing to chronically homeless individuals.
In January 2017, DCMH with the City of Davis began Pathways to Employment, a jobs program for homeless individuals to assist them in getting back to work, helping with their self esteem and working towards self sufficiency.
Creekside began construction in November 2018. Construction finished in April 2020. Residents began moving into the units in May 2020. There are 80 one bedroom units at Creekside and 10 two bedroom units. 26 homeless men, women and children moved in during the initial rent up period and our staff is providing supportive services to them and to many more living there who are at risk of homelessness or have special needs.
After several years of planning with our collaborative partners, Davis Opportunity Village, Yolo County Housing, Sutter Health and Partnership Health Plan of California and fundraising, in June 2020, DCMH received approval from the City of Davis to build Paul’s Place, an innovative project to replace our aging shelter and resource center at 1111 H Street. Paul’s Place will be a 4 story structure with our resource center and emergency shelter beds on the 1st floor, a revamped transitional housing program for 10 individuals on the 2nd floor, and permanent supportive housing for 18 on the 3rd and 4th floors. We are currently in the process of getting approval for the building architecture and receiving our building permit. We anticipate groundbreaking in late summer or early fall of 2021.
In December 2020, we signed a lease with the city of Davis on the duplex next door to 1111 H Street. The duplex will temporarily house individuals who are vulnerable to COVID. When the building of Paul’s Place begins it will be the temporary location of our individual transitional housing program.