TELL THE MAYOR, CITY MANAGER AND
CITY COUNCIL TO DEFUND THE SACRAMENTO POLICE DEPARTMENT'S IMPACT TEAM AND REINVEST IN NONPROFIT OUTREACH TEAMS [see CAHOOTS EXAMPLE BELOW] TO PROVIDE SERVICES FOR OUR UNHOUSED NEIGHBORS
IMPACT TEAM BUDGET
The FY 2020-21 budget for the Sacramento Police Department [SPD] just approved by the Mayor and City Council is $147 Million, an increase of $10 M over last year -
Of that, $1.5 - $2 million is to fund the IMPACT [homeless] Team to do outreach and referrals to people experiencing homelessness. That equates to $93,750 per month in salary. In February, 2020 according to the SPD metrics, they received over 3,000 homeless related calls, 44 of which resulted in illegal camping citations and only 153 referrals for services. That equates to or $612 per referral - a very expensive and ineffective way to address our homeless crisis.
SRCEH calls on the Mayor, City Manager and City Council to defund the Homeless IMPACT Team and reinvest in an nonprofit, interdisciplinary teams comprised of mental health worker, public health workers, substance use workers and a person with lived experience of homelessness to do outreach and engagement of our unhoused neighbors. Additionally, this social work team should be making referrals to services and housing, not law enforcement.
CALL ON THE MAYOR & CITY MANAGER TO SUPPORT A COMMUNITY BASED PROGRAM LIKE CAHOOTS IN OREGON &
MH FIRST IN SACRAMENTO
CAHOOTS: Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets
24-7 Mobile Crisis Intervention Program for Non-Criminal Cases
Black-led, multi-racial, intergenerational coalition that seeks to build a replicable and sustainable model to eradicate police terror in communities of color
The Anti-Police Terror Project [ATPT] Sacramento has launched MH First, a cutting-edge new model for non-police response to mental health crisis. The goal of MH First is to respond to mental health crises including, but not limited to, psychiatric emergencies, substance use disorder support, and domestic violence situations that require victim extraction.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO CITY ON HOW TO
SPEND $20 M OF CARES STIMULUS FUNDS
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 and not on efforts for more general economic recovery, including projects like Aggie Square. The latter will potentially be addressed by the HEROES Act just introduced into the House – a $3 trillion proposal that includes $200 B for essential workers and $10 B for the Economic Injury Disaster Recovery Act. Additionally, 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:
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 77 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 $5 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