IN THE DISTRICT City programs address challenge of homelessness

We’re almost through winter, and things at the city are still moving along. I am pleased to share a quick update on what’s been happening citywide with regard to those experiencing homelessness — and how we are continuing to keep this issue at the forefront.

As we think about solutions to homelessness in our city, we want to ensure they are:

  • Compassionate to the needs of those most vulnerable in our community;
  • Responsive to the concerns and impacts of homelessness on the greater community;
  • Inclusive of the variety of partners needed to make a major impact; and
  • Oriented to the needs of those we are trying to serve.

Site-based triage is essential to provide the opportunity to help move the homeless into more permanent housing solutions. The city’s first Winter Triage Center is at capacity. Many clients are ages 35 to 61 and have been homeless for more than one year. As of Feb. 14, the city’s outreach partners had enrolled 275 people into the Winter Triage Center and had found permanent housing for 17 people experiencing homelessness. The shelter is the first of its kind to be funded by the City of Sacramento.

We are moving forward on securing a location for a permanent year-round triage center, as well as implementing the city’s $64 million grant for Whole Person Care, now referred to as Pathways for Health+Home. In addition, last year’s partnership with Sacramento County identified $44 million in mental health and substance abuse funds, which can directly support many of the people on the streets. We are leveraging more than 1,700 vouchers to get housing for the people most in need.

Because there is a need for creative thinking around increasing our housing supply, the mayor is exploring opportunities to invest in at least 1,000 new, efficient, small housing units (sometimes called “tiny homes”), which could relieve some of the housing pressures we’ve seen across the city.

We know this isn’t enough, but it’s movement in the right direction. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please be in touch.

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