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Sacramento City Council votes in favor of $62-million homeless housing plan

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said preventing people from becoming homeless in the first place is what makes addressing the crisis so difficult.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento City Council passed a $62-million plan aimed at keeping residents from becoming homeless amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Project Homekey is a collaborative effort from both state and local officials to house the homeless during the coronavirus pandemic. The Sacramento City Council voted for the city to participate in the program. 

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said during the city council meeting that helping people get off the street is not the most challenging part of the homeless crisis. 

"The harder part is preventing people from becoming homeless in the first place," Steinberg said. "We have success getting hundreds or thousands off the street, but the people don't see the difference because they're replaced by a new cohort of homeless people."

According to the city council agenda, California has set aside $27,409,175 in funding to the Sacramento Region. The state is prioritizing city applicants if they can provide housing to the homeless within 90 days of funding. 

The City of Sacramento is also partnering with WEAVE INC. to house the homeless or those who are at risk of becoming homeless.  

Saint John's Program for Real Change provides women and children a safe, sober environment with housing, food, counseling, education, and life skills. The city is partnering with that organization to create 29 affordable permanent and temporary housing units. The city hopes to protect those who do not have access to shelter from contracting the coronavirus.

The Land Park, Little Pocket, and River Oak communities would have access to a meth sobering center. Sacramento City Councilmember Jay Schenirer said those who have a substance abuse problem are more likely to be infected with the coronavirus.

"People who take substances and abuse them develop comorbidities that make them more susceptible to falling prey to the coronavirus," Schenirer said. "They also become really good vectors of the disease." 

ABC10 is waiting to hear back from city officials on the funding source for the housing plan.

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