-Mayor Darrell Steinberg
Since Mayor Darrell Steinberg took office in January 2017, the City has embraced a new approach to addressing homelessness that is producing promising results. Teams of outreach workers and police officers repeatedly contact homeless people — many of whom have resisted help for years — and convince them to enter the City’s Triage Shelter and enroll in its Pathways program, which connects them with health care, removes barriers such as missing Social Security cards and helps them find permanent shelter.
Mayor Steinberg has raised millions of private dollars to help expand shelter capacity in Sacramento and secured $20 million in additional funds for the City and County as part of the 2018 state budget process. He is currently working with his colleagues on the Sacramento City Council to find a place to put 100 shelter beds in each of the eight Council districts.
The City has hired the Downtown Streets Team to clean up in neighborhoods affected by homeless camping. The Streets Team employs homeless volunteers and helps connect them with housing and jobs.
You can help address the issue of homelessness in Sacramento by volunteering through a variety of non-profits and faith groups that provide services and shelter. In January 2019, you will have a unique opportunity to learn more about people who are homeless in our community and make sure we get adequate state and federal funding by participating in the Homeless Point in Time census of the homeless population in Sacramento County.
Sacramento’s $64-million Pathways program has helped hundreds of people stabilize their lives by connecting them with health services, including treatment for mental illness, and helping them obtain documents such as Social Security cards and state IDs that allow them to qualify for services or find jobs. Pathways also connects people to permanent housing. It is funded primarily by federal Medicaid dollars and contributions from Sacramento’s major health care providers, in addition to a contribution of $2 million from the City. Click here to visit the Pathways website.
The City’s Triage Shelter takes people as they are, with their partners, pets and possessions. Once inside, residents receive three meals a day and are wrapped in services to help them stabilize and prepare to move into permanent housing. Using this low-barrier approach, the City has been able to get people into housing who were homeless for decades.
As of late November, the City had housed 619 people in the Triage Shelter, with 150 currently housed. Of the 469 people who had exited the shelter, 123 had been placed in permanent housing, and 47 had left for transitional housing, another shelter opportunity, or to live with friends or family.
The City has hired the Downtown Streets Team to clean up in neighborhoods affected by homeless camping. The Streets Team employs homeless volunteers and helps connect them with housing and jobs. The Downtown Streets Team currently focuses on the area around the City’s Triage Shelter in north Sacramento, but it will expand to downtown and the River District when the City receives $5.6 million in new state funding under the new state’s new Homeless Emergency Aid Program.
In November, the City Council also approved a $400,000 package of additional mitigation measures, including a new disposal truck and a trash collection crew that will be dedicated to cleaning up after homeless camps.
If you see a homeless person being victimized or committing a crime, call 911. Within the Sacramento City limits, you can report homeless camps by calling the City’s 311 Service Center or submitting an online request through the website or the 311 app.
If you are interested in volunteering your time or donating, here is a list of organizations serving the homeless in Sacramento:
Sacramento Steps Forward; Sacramento Self Help Housing; Cottage Housing; St. John’s Program for Real Change; El Hogar Community Services; Salvation Army; Family Promise; TLCS; Loaves and Fishes; Tubman House; Lutheran Social Services; Volunteers of America; Mercy Housing; WEAVE; Mutual Housing California; Wind Youth Services; Next Move; Women’s Empowerment
For more opportunities visit Hands on Superior NorCal.