Dear Sacramento Community, Friends and Partners,
We are excited to announce that Sacramento Steps Forward has been selected as a 2021 Bezos Day 1 Families Fund award recipient! Launched in 2018 by Amazon founder and executive chair Jeff Bezos, this fund was set up to support organizations that help homeless families to ensure that no child sleeps outside. We’re proud to be among the 32 organizations across the country to be recognized by the fund’s independent advisory group of homelessness experts.
We plan to use this generous $5 million investment over the next five years to advance systems-level approaches to gather real-time data to monitor and identify families at risk of and experiencing homelessness, quickly divert families and rapidly rehouse families experiencing homelessness, and focus on best practice approaches to identify and address racial disparities.
The majority of the funds - $4.5 million - will be re-granted by SSF to our nonprofit partners to support their work helping homeless families directly. The remainder - $500,000 - will go towards family-focused systems-level initiatives and grant administration.
These funds will enable Sacramento to establish a family-focused leadership group to develop a shared vision and unified approach toward system improvements. We envision this collaborative leadership group to include our government agency partners, education/school district partners, homeless service providers, as well as persons with lived experiences.
Our 2019 Point-in-Time count (PIT) estimated that 5,570 persons experienced homelessness on a given night in Sacramento. Of that number, 372 households consisting of 451 adults and 688 children under age 18, represented approximately 20% of all persons experiencing homelessness in the county.
The PIT also revealed that the racial disproportionality of Black/African Americans experiencing homelessness was much more acute for parents than non-parents. Of the families experiencing unsheltered homelessness, parents were twice as likely to report being Black than non-parents.
As we continue to navigate through the impacts of the pandemic, we’re especially grateful for the Day 1 Families Fund’s support, which will allow the Sacramento region to double down on our community’s work to serve and provide stability for families in our community. This new source of funding is a welcome addition to our tools and resources to tackle family homelessness.
Please click here for a copy of today's formal announcement. For more information on the Day 1 Families Fund, click here. To learn more about how these funds will be used, updates will be posted to our website and look for additional information through email updates.
SSF looks forward to working with all our partners and the public as we take our family homelessness solutions to a higher level in the months and years ahead.