Homelessness increased in Sacramento by 30 percent since 2015

Today Sacramento Steps Forward released the results of their homelessness Point-In-Time count, which we took part in during our documentary on homelessness in Sacramento

Today Sacramento Steps Forward released the results of their homelessness Point-In-Time count, which we took part in during our documentary on homelessness in Sacramento.

Of those, 2,052 people are unsheltered, that's 85 percent more people than in 2015.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg reacted with an impassioned speech saying “This is no time for celebration, this is no time for pats on the back, this is not just a sobering report. This is a damning report." 

The grim rundown of numbers continued. Nearly a third, 31 percent, of homeless people in our area are critically homeless, meaning they endure prolonged homelessness of over a year while also suffering from a disability. 

The count shows a 50 percent increase in homeless vets - most of them are unsheltered, sleeping outside in tents or in cars. 

Some of the increases have to do with improvements in counting and floods pushing people into areas that would have otherwise been unaccounted for. However, according to the report, most of the surge is real. More people are homeless. A trend consistent across the state due to the housing crisis.

Rancho Cordova Mayor Donald Terry said, “There are nowhere to put these people. There are not enough homes available because we are not building, and it’s not a priority to most communities in this region to make sure that there is enough housing for people in their communities." 

He stressed the problem of local opposition as a crucial factor in the housing crisis.

“You’re seeing that play out in the south Bay and in a lot of other places where cities of 20,000 people that could add 30 or 40,000 more people don’t want do it,” Mayor Terry said. “They’d rather somebody else build the houses and somebody else have the traffic." 

Loofbourrow attributed homelessness to multiple factors saying, "There are issues of housing, the disparity between what a low wage can afford for an apartment, those things certainly contribute to an increase in the incidence of homelessness." 

Although not directly pointing fingers, Mayor Steinberg was pretty obviously calling out the county for a lack of cooperation and coming together and inviting them to join resources.

“We must consolidate our resources, we must have one system, one continuum of care working with Sacramento Steps Forward and everyone,” Mayor Steinberg said. “And commit to that goal and achieve that goal, nothing short." 

When I asked about his frustration, he lowered his tone saying, “I think it can be enhanced. I think it can be enhanced by taking the resources they are budgeting which are considerable, the mental and health resources which they control, the whole person care grant, the $64 million that the city has received; we put those resources together, we build upon them, we have a common approach in terms of the chronically homeless that we are targeting, a goal that we agree upon together to come back in a year or two years or three years and report significantly reduced numbers. We can do better together." 

In the case of Alicia Craft, we witnessed what can happen when different entities communicate and consolidate efforts.

When ABC10 checked in with her today, she said, "I make sure I stay here a long time so everybody can keep hope that there is a way off the streets, to save their money and do what their counselors tell them and get a place, because I’m very happy, very, very happy.”

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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