On December 15, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors received an update to the Homeless Strategic Plan that was originally presented in May. The goal for the Plan, named “Built for Zero” is to create a system that helps reach a functional zero for each population. With the dedication of a million dollars in this year’s Sacramento County budget, added to the City of Sacramento’s $500,000 and Sutter Health’s $900,000, the Plan brings a total of $2.4 million in funds dedicated to permanent housing solutions for the homeless.
“This plan presents a thoughtful system to help free people from homelessness in our region,” said Phil Serna, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. "Making lasting changes rests in coordinated entry and assessment, stable housing and effective service delivery. This plan arms us with a very deliberate approach in that regard.”
The non-profit organization, Sacramento Steps Forward, was granted the lead agency role for managing the Homeless Continuum of Care in 2012. They manage the funds that are provided by the federal government, County, City and others and administer the “Navigator” program. This provides outreach workers who link services and information to the homeless in the field, in places such as Loaves and Fishes, hospitals and on the street. The services are provided by the County Departments of Human Assistance and Health and Human Services, and include Medi-Cal, health services including addiction and mental health services, job training, CalFresh (food stamps) and more.
“Housing comes first,” said Ryan Loofbourrow, Executive Director of Sacramento Steps Forward. “But often individuals need services and support combined with housing to ensure that they can maintain their housing and become self-sufficient.”
The Plan outlines how to develop a system of care in which people who become homeless are quickly placed in permanent housing so that homelessness will become a brief one-time occurrence. This will be achieved through a coordinated entry and assessment system that will link the homeless population to the most effective permanent housing solutions.
“Since January this year, more than 400 homeless vets have been placed into permanent housing,” said County Executive Bradley J. Hudson. “We’re making progress and focusing on long-term solutions, but there is much more to do. This Plan will provide the roadmap towards lasting improvement.”
It should be noted that in addition to supporting the Plan and housing first, the County continues to fund temporary shelters, support services, social workers, the Motel Voucher program and the Return to Residence program.
If you know someone that needs help, have them call the Department of Human Assistance at 916-874-3100 or Sac Steps Forward at 916-577-9770 or firstname.lastname@example.org.