The City of Sacramento’s Department of Community Response has partnered with local organizations to conduct outreach to people experiencing homelessness in the central city and connect them with shelter space and other services.
The newly formed Central City Multi-Service Teams were created by DCR, Hope Cooperative, Midtown Association and Downtown Partnership. The teams go “walking, knocking and talking” in Midtown on Tuesdays and Downtown on Thursdays and represent a new approach to addressing a complex issue, officials said.
“Homelessness is a multi-faceted issue that requires a multi-faceted approach to solutions,” said Michael Ault, executive director with the Downtown Partnership. “Working collaboratively to meet individuals experiencing homeless where they are is a critical step towards nurturing the wellbeing of our entire community.”
The team approach also appeals to Hezekiah Allen, a program specialist with DCR.
“It ensures we are being attentive to the various interests involved in our outreach work,” Allen said. “It allows us to be responsive to the local business community, as well as to the needs and interests of both housed and unhoused community members. While the organizations each come to this work from a slightly different perspective, together we present a well-rounded team that is capable of bringing positive outcomes to complex challenges.”
DCR began working with the Midtown Association and the Downtown Partnership almost a year ago, but the three organizations recently formalized an arrangement to do eight weeks of tandem outreach.
According to officials, the multi-services team approach recognizes that each organization has different skill sets and resources that, together, can have a greater impact than doing this outreach individually.
“Our partnership with DCR and Hope Cooperative is part of addressing much-needed community services for people experiencing homelessness,” said Emily Baime Michaels, executive director of the Midtown Association. “Through this outreach, we see meaningful progress being made toward Midtown’s safety and success.”
“We absolutely want to be going out and meeting these people where they live,” said Bridgette Dean, director of DCR. “The more familiar we become to them, the more likely they are to start trusting us. It might take several visits before the person trusts us enough to accept a place in safe ground or a motel voucher, but when they do, that’s a win for everybody.”
The multi-service teams also help at special events downtown, like the Bodega Days market or Friday night Concerts in the Park to ensure outreach is provided for those within the event area while vendors setup.
“These events are a vital part of bringing Downtown back to life,” said Ault. “Having our team work in concert with DCR and Hope Cooperative ensures all aspects of our community are being served, in a real meaningful way.”