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'This has a real potential for change' | Sacramento Salvation Army shelter expands care with 60 additional beds for unhoused community

The Center of Hope Emergency Shelter now has a total bed capacity of 140 beds.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Salvation Army’s Center of Hope Emergency Shelter celebrated a critical milestone, expanding to add 60 new beds to its downtown Sacramento shelter. 

The nonprofit organization held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday morning with county officials, as their total bed capacity is now 140 beds. The goal is to get more people off the streets and back on their feet, specifically targeted at those staying near the American River Parkway. 

The new beds are paid for thanks in part to a renewed partnership with Sacramento County through the end of 2024. The county awarded the Salvation Army with $2.5 million using American Rescue Plan funding. That money not only covers the new beds, but wrap-around services for their clients to get them back on their feet in an attempt to end the cycle of homelessness.

While 60 beds might not sound like much, the Salvation Army says 60 beds across a 30-month period can equal up to 1,500 more of our unhoused neighbors getting the help they need. 

"And when you're looking at the total 10,000 or so unhoused in Sacramento County, 60 beds can equal 10 percent of that addressed in 30 months so we're excited because this has a real potential for change," Capt. Larry Carmichael, the Salvation Army's Social Services Officer, said.

A milestone which hit home for Sacramento County Supervisor Patrick Kennedy.

"I get up everyday plagued by this homeless situation and if I can play a small role in helping people, that's why I do what I do," Kennedy said. "This is not a political crisis, it's a humanitarian crisis."

The Salvation Army got some extra room for these beds after one of its partners, Wellspace Health, moved its medical beds to a larger site on Folsom Boulevard, increasing their capacity for post-acute care and in-turn, increasing the Center of Hope’s capacity, too. 

"Today is just one more step toward making it better for people who are living on the streets," Kennedy said.

The Salvation Army says can take clients from unhoused towards self-sufficient housing and long-term stability within a 65-day window. The 60 beds unveiled on Wednesday have already been spoken for from a waitlist put together by the county’s outreach team. 

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