Unhoused men and women volunteering to clean up parts of North Sacramento.

The City has embarked on a four-month project to encourage those who are homeless or formerly homeless to participate in community service in exchange for a small stipend.

The 22 “team members” of the Downtown Streets Team are focused on cleaning up abandoned encampments behind the City’s first winter triage center on Railroad Drive, and along Dixieanne, the Northgate Boulevard to Arden/Garden Hwy corridor, Del Paso Boulevard, and along the bike trail.

According to the Downtown Streets Team Project Manager Rachel Davidson, the team members benefit from rebuilding positive work habits, expanding their skillset, regaining their dignity, and taking a step toward meaningful employment.  The community benefits by the clean-up of streets, parks and public spaces.

Sacramento City Councilmember Jay Schenirer, who also sits on the Regional Transit board, is facilitating a partnership to provide public transit passes to team members in exchange for assisting with clean-up of some light rail stations.

“If we are going to gain any ground in ending homelessness, we have to make sure those who are trying to obtain the skills and work experience to succeed are able to do so – especially where transportation is involved,” said Councilmember Jay Schenirer.

“The City’s work with the Downtown Streets Team and partnership with Sacramento Regional Transit to provide Connect card transit passes to these teams is a small but meaningful start.”

For their volunteer efforts, members receive a stipend in the amount of $20 per four-hour shifts, usually in the form of a gift card for groceries or other essentials.

The Downtown Streets Team also works with employers to build relationships and help the team members move toward long-term employment.

The City, through its numerous partners and its Pathways to Health & Home program, is committed to housing 2,000 individuals by 2020.