Elk Grove city leaders are expected to discuss how to implement a $5 million state grant to help the homeless at a city council meeting Wednesday evening.

Over the past six years, the city has worked closely with nonprofit organizations to address the homelessness issue but it still remains an issue, said Sarah Bontrager, Elk Grove’s Housing and Public services Manager.

“It is really exciting. I think it gives the city a great opportunity to further the successes we’ve already had with homelessness and also an opportunity to try some new innovative strategies,” Bontrager said.

The grant will allow the city to expand its homeless services by creating a navigation team, acquire property to serve as navigation hubs, and provide a variety of services for the homeless including mental health and housing.

According to a city staff report, the grant could be used over the next seven to 10 years to hire three full-time staff including a homeless services navigator, Mental Health Clinician, and Problem Oriented Policing Officer.

The staff report being presented at Wednesday’s council meeting can be viewed online by clicking here.

There were 40 people living without shelter in Elk Grove during the most recent point-in-time count conducted by Sacramento Steps Forwards.

It is estimated that there are about 150 homeless people in Elk Grove on any given night, Bontrager said.

The city has been working with local non-profits including churches and Elk Grove Homeless Assistance Resource Team (HART) to provide services for the homeless.

The City’s first transitional house, Grace House, opened in 2013. More than 80 percent of the residents who graduate from the transitional house gone on to secure permanent housing, according to the city’s website.

In 2015, the city in partnership with HART and Sacramento Self-Help Housing opened a second transitional house for the homeless.

Each Winter local churches provide housing and meal accommodations for up to 20 men, women, and families from December until early March through the Elk Grove WINter Sanctuary program (EG WINS).