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Mayor Kevin Johnson and County Supervisors Roger Dickinson and Roberta MacGlashan Mark 1-Year Anniversary of ‘Sacramento Steps Forward’

Today Mayor Kevin Johnson and Supervisors Roger Dickinson and Roberta MacGlashan were joined by members of the business, nonprofits, faith, and philanthropic communities at Serna Village to celebrate the one-year anniversary of ‘Sacramento Steps Forward’ (SSF), a regional initiative created to find comprehensive solutions to homelessness.

“One year ago, at Martin Luther King Village, our community came together to reenergize our collective efforts to combat homelessness. Our goal was clear: to end homelessness in Sacramento. While we’ve made significant progress, there is much more to do before we achieve the comprehensive, long-term solution we need,” said Mayor Johnson.

Great success


In its first year, SSF set out to re-imagine how the region combats homelessness. The initiative made major progress in several key areas outlined in SSF’s “First Anniversary Community Report” that was released today: In just its first eleven months, SSF connected 1,430 households to housing assistance – 60% of the
three-year goal of 2,400 permanent housing opportunities. 250 permanent units are in construction, and
145 housing vouchers were secured for homeless veterans. By the end of 2010, more than 1,675
permanent housing opportunities will be created.

The emergency winter shelter program expanded in 2009-10, despite a 40% decrease in funding. SSF partners collaborated to create a strategy that provided 315 shelter beds per night--up from an average of 174 beds per night in 2008-2009. Six of the seven new shelter options provided 24-hour housing, instead of past solutions which provided shelter only for nighttime hours.

After securing $9M in Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) funding, the City
and County of Sacramento partnered with Volunteers of America, the Salvation Army, and Lutheran
Social Services to assist homeless and near homeless households. HPRP is on track to reach its goal of
assisting 1,800 households by the program’s end date of September 2011.

In March, SSF partnered with the Sacramento Community Regional Foundation to launch the “One Day to Prevent Homelessness” campaign, raising $400,000, which leveraged $1.6 million in federal funds that assisted 600 households through the HPRP program.

Mayor Johnson announced that in year two, SSF will focus on the development of a new organization
focused on ending homelessness. This effort is necessary to address dramatic staffing and budget cuts within Sacramento County. It also creates opportunities outside traditional public sector parameters. The new organization will be a hybrid 501 (c) 3 nonprofit and Joint Powers Authority.

As a nonprofit, the new entity will have more freedom to pursue private funding and more flexibility to structure services based on data and performance. The new organization will coordinate multiple funding streams, disparate policy approaches, and authorities. The result will be a more efficient, dynamic, engaged and collaborative solution that will move Sacramento closer to its goal of eliminating homelessness.

Supervisor Dickinson, a SSF Chair and longtime advocate of combating homelessness, was on hand for today’s event, and discussed strides made over the past decade. 

“We saw the chronically homeless population decrease more than one-third between 2007 and 2009 at
the same time more families with children were living on the streets or in shelters. This shouldn’t be acceptable to anyone and underscores the reason we must continue exploring meaningful and sustainable solutions to end homelessness,” said Supervisor Dickinson.

Mayor Johnson is currently chair of the ‘Sacramento Steps Forward’ Policy Board to End Homelessness in Sacramento and focused on finding long-term, comprehensive solutions that will end homelessness.

For more information about Sacramento Steps Forward, go to:www.sacramentostepsforward.org

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