City’s homelessness response department receives additional resources from midyear budget

The City’s efforts to address homelessness received a significant boost in resources as part of the annual midyear budget process.

The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday approved a midyear budget adjustment that included the addition of 19 positions for the Department of Community Response, which provides outreach and services to people experiencing homelessness in the city.

“The needs are tremendous out in our community,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg said during the discussion.

The $12.8 million for these positions – which include two for Code enforcement — will come from the federal funding the City received as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.

The additional positions for the Department of Community Response first were outlined in the midyear budget proposal submitted by City Manager Howard Chan. Steinberg later published a letter with his midyear budget recommendations, which also supported the significant increase in capacity for the department.

In addition, the mayor’s letter recommended allocating $2.8 million to DCR to engage community-based organizations in each district to assist in homelessness outreach and needs assessment, as well as $1 million to help establish a coordinated entry system with Sacramento Steps Forward and the County of Sacramento to better organize regional resources for people experiencing homelessness.

Both items were approved as part of the midyear process, as were the other recommendations in Steinberg’s letter, with an adjustment for increased resources for unsheltered women and children put forth by Councilmember Angelique Ashby.

Other notable midyear changes included: match funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, which will result in 15 new grant-funded police officers; $9 million for youth and inclusive community investment (including workforce training detailed in a letter from Councilmembers Jay Schenirer and Mai Vang); and $23 million to be placed in City reserves.

The City’s midyear budget adjustment occurs halfway through the fiscal year, which ends June 30, and takes into account the most current financial information.

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