(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage the provision of shelter, with effective personal rehabilitation and self-sufficiency development services, to homeless persons at as low a cost and as quickly as possible, without compromising the health and safety of shelter occupants. It is also the intent of the Legislature to encourage the move of homeless persons from shelters to a self-supporting environment as soon as possible, to encourage provision of services for as many persons at risk of homelessness as possible, to encourage
compatible and effective funding of homeless services, and to encourage coordination among public agencies that fund or provide services to homeless individuals, as well as agencies that discharge people from their institutions, including, but not limited to, child welfare agencies, health care programs, and jails and prisons. Because many communities currently provide shelter and limited services to individuals who are unable or unwilling to comply with traditional housing programs only during cold and wet weather and because year-round shelter will encourage these individuals to accept services and move toward permanent housing, it is also the intent of the Legislature to increase the availability of year-round shelter to meet the special needs of those individuals, including a Safe Haven that provides supportive housing for seriously mentally ill homeless persons.
(b) There is hereby created the Emergency Housing and Assistance Program.
(c) To the extent possible, the Emergency Housing and Assistance Program shall not conflict with the federal Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, as approved on July 22, 1987, cited as Public Law 100-77, as it is, from time to time, amended, and regulations promulgated thereunder by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, or its successor.