The City and County of Sacramento this past December entered into a historic partnership agreement to provide greater outreach, shelter and services to people experiencing homelessness, particularly within the boundaries of the City of Sacramento.
The five-year agreement identifies roles and responsibilities of the City and County and demonstrates a shared commitment to reducing unsheltered homelessness. It includes joint outreach teams, hundreds of additional shelter beds and a commitment to do “whatever it takes” to meet the behavioral and mental health needs of people experiencing homelessness.
Both the City and County on May 23 provided updates to their respective legislative bodies regarding what had been accomplished during the first six months of the partnership. The following information was presented to the City Council by staff from the Department of Community Response.
Between Jan. 1 and April 30, City/County joint outreach teams served 10 encampment locations with 1,328 initial contacts with individuals experiencing homelessness. The outreach teams offered to connect people with supportive services, shelter and housing, when available.
Of those 1,328 contacts, 815 people expressed interest in the assistance offered; 44 people were placed in shelter and/or safe camping such as the X Street Navigation Center; and 234 were admitted to outpatient programs.
“I am proud of the DCR team for helping people experiencing homelessness get out of their current situation, and towards safety, security and transformation,” said Homeless Services Manager Nick Golling. “Homelessness is not a one size fits all situation, and therefore we do our best to fit people to program types that will best suit their current needs. The team works to approach each individual’s complex needs with compassion, empathy and dignity.”
Current outreach staffing
The joint outreach teams are comprised of 10 County mental health counselors and peer specialists, and 25 City Neighborhood Resources Specialists, nine of which are contracted with Hope Cooperative’s Homeless Outreach Program.
In the coming weeks, 15 additional community support providers are expected to be added by Managed Care Plans through California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM).
The City and County will soon have 10 joint outreach teams, as identified in the partnership agreement.
“Even before the Partnership agreement, City and County teams had been working together,” said Chevon Kothari, Deputy County Executive of Social Services for Sacramento County. “The agreement just solidified that relationship and encouraged everyone to bring more resources to the table. We are really happy with some of the results.”
CORE Center coming to downtown
There are currently 10 CORE Behavioral Health Centers, which provide specialty mental health outpatient services throughout Sacramento County.
As part of the partnership, an additional center is expected to open in the summer on Broadway in downtown Sacramento.
Additional shelter space
The County in the coming months will be opening several Safe Stay non-congregate community shelters that will be available to those experiencing homelessness within the City.
These locations include:
- Stay Safe at Florin Road and Power Inn; will serve up to 125 adults (October 2023)
- Stay Safe at East Parkway; will serve up to 56 adults (October 2023)
- Stay Safe at Watt Avenue; will serve up to 250 people (In planning process)
In addition, the City and the County are currently working to identify locations for 350 tiny homes to be provided by the State of California.
The local Coordinated Access System, led by Sacramento Steps Forward, is integrating and improving efforts and communications between the City, County, 2-1-1 and other community partners.
“Coordinated access is a key part of our new partnership agreement with the County,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “Putting our collective emergency shelter beds into one system is the most efficient and effective way to get people indoors, and it will help prevent precious housing resources from sitting unused.”
Read more about the City and County Partnership Agreement update here.