Dear Partners and Friends,
January was one of the most challenging months in recent years with the onslaught of winter storms, and no one felt its effects more than people experiencing homelessness. Our community experienced human loss, human suffering, and severe discomfort as multiple storms passed through Sacramento. As a community, we grieve the loss of life and injuries sustained by those caught in the weather.
If there was good that came out of the storms, it is that the Sacramento community acted quickly to protect our unhoused neighbors. We want to give our appreciation to the County of Sacramento and City of Sacramento who quickly mobilized emergency shelters and outreach to encampments and thank you to the many community providers who aided in those efforts.
I believe 2023 will be a signature year for progress in addressing our homeless crisis. Thank you for continuing to show up every day to build more equitable and humane future.
As we look back at all that was accomplished in 2022, we can reflect on a year of progress that included new partnerships and commitments, renewed action on advancing racial equity, and advancing greater access to services for those struggling in our community. All the good work done this past year will serve as building blocks for even more progress this coming year.
Here are some highlights of what we accomplished in 2022:
Our community 2022 Point in Time Unsheltered Count could not have been pulled off without the entire community coming together. Everyone’s efforts made a huge difference. Adding to that collected data, the Continuum of Care (CoC) completed a comprehensive homelessness gaps analysis - another important yardstick that guides our focus and resources.
As a community, we have good reason to celebrate two other major milestones in our efforts to battle homelessness: the new Sacramento Local Homeless Action Plan (LHAP) that will provide framework for the recently adopted city and county partnership agreement that will add shelters and behavioral health services capacity.
The LHAP “roadmap” folds in proven practices that move the needle on homelessness and sets down strategies for how we will most effectively address homelessness through a regional effort. It encompasses a lot: coordinated access, sheltering and housing strategies, building Sacramento’s provider capacity, and tracking system performance informed by data collection and analysis.
The CoC’s pioneering partnerships with people with lived expertise (PLE) provided human-centered and deeply informed program design in major efforts to secure federal funding this year. A testament to our joint efforts is the fact that some of our experiences and approaches will be featured, at several national conferences this year.
SSF was proud to have participated in the community public health crisis response and education outreach, helping to ensure the administration of 2,181 total doses of COVID-19 vaccines to unsheltered and sheltered individuals.
On the funding front, millions of additional dollars came to Sacramento to address homelessness including:
$6 million investment received from the federal government to confront and overcome youth homelessness. It comes with an opportunity to renew annually. Read more about YHDP below.
$8.3 million in this year’s state HHAP grant, and $866,498 through the state's Family Homelessness Challenge Grant.
$4 million provided by the city and county to develop the Coordinated Access System (CAS). The CAS team added six new problem-solving access points and provided over 75 direct service staff with housing problem-solving training led by people with lived experience.
On behalf of all of us at SSF, thank you for your passion and partnership that has made all of this happen for our Sacramento community. As the winter storms proved to us once again, our community efforts to end homelessness are critically important and have the potential to change lives for the better for thousands of our neighbors. We welcome your input on the 2023 Continuum of Care priorities and look forward to this year's planning, upcoming actions, and next steps!
Chief Executive Officer, Sacramento Steps Forward