FOR AUGUST 11 CITY COUNCIL MEETING

RECOMMENDATIONS TO CITY ON HOW TO

SPEND $20 M OF CARES STIMULUS FUNDS

ON HOMELESSNESS

RECOMMENDATIONS: CITY CARE ACT STIMULUS FUNDS

We recommend that the CARES Act funds be used for immediate, direct support to people hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, including homeless and low-income individuals and families, seniors and people with disabilities to ensure housing stability through 2020  a new study by Columbia University estimated that if homelessness tracks the unemployment rate as it has done in the past, homelessness in late 2020 could increase by as much as 45% nationally.

 

In addition to the proposed Homeless and Rapid Rehousing Plan, we urge the City to allocate at least $20 million of the CARES funding toward:

Homelessness

 

  1. Sanitation and life sustaining support for encampments:

  • maintain the current response infrastructure to encampments, including hand-washing stations and port-a-potties 

  • expand the delivery of meals to encampments to at least 3,500 meals a day/ 7 days a week

  • scheduled trash pick-up at all 82 encampments

  • fund a mobile shower/bathroom program

  • maintain the medical support to encampments including adequate supplies

  • add navigators to do outreach to encampments

  • expand and improve the referral process and referral partners

  • conduct an information campaign in multiple languages to educate homeless people about COVID-19 and how to access services and housing

2. Rapid Shelter of People Experiencing Homelessness:  Work with the County and expedite shelter and housing of at-risk individuals. Prioritize support for unsheltered individuals. 

  • Use a portion of funds to increase shelter capacity, reconfigure shelter space to adhere to physical distancing, deliver medial and sanitary support for unsheltered people. 

  • Create and fund rehousing plans to move people from emergency COVID-19 sheltering to permanent affordable housing, especially supportive housing: including acquiring units being used for COVID emergency housing for permanent affordable housing; donation of public surplus lands, and purchase of vacant properties such as unused church or school sites. 

  • Expand case management services for individuals and families

3.  Employment:  partner with the County to fund a homeless employment program, including support services such as transportation, to serve as an employment and income strategy in support of the rapid-rehousing plan

 

4.    Keep People Housed:

  • Create a Homelessness Prevention fund of at least $10 million

  •  Maintain COVID-19 Eviction moratoriums for as long as needed

  •  While important, moratoriums are not sufficient, and the City should take additional steps to ensure lower income renters do not fall off the eviction cliff when the moratorium ends. Specifically: 

  • Provide short term assistance in the form of vouchers of up to one months rent to low income renters (including seniors, low wage workers, artists, etc.); 

  • Provide direct rental supports for impacted property owners (priority for nonprofit affordable housing developers). CARES funding (along with CDBG and ESG funding) should be used to make temporary rent payments in exchange for a commitment to keep renters housed for at least 12 months. 

  • Provide moratoriums on code violation fines and displacement for homeowners.

  • Conduct a tenant/homeowners Know Your Rights Public Information campaign in multiple languages

If you are homeless, please call 211 for help.

Find food, shelter, housing,  transportation, income [CalWORKs, G.R. SSI], legal and health care resources in the our publication, Peoples Guide to Health, Welfare & Other Services

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1331 Garden Highway, Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95833

916.889.4367

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There are 5,700 people experiencing homeless on any given night - with over 10,000 homeless on an annual basis. The unsheltered homeless population increased from 56% in 2017 to 70% in 2019 There are 480 homeless people sleeping in their cars or RV's- 33 are families

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