Homeless programs in Sacramento County will receive nearly $19 million in federal grants this year.
The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the money to homeless programs overseen by Sacramento Steps Forward. Ryan Loofburrouw is the organization's executive director. He says the funding is the "backbone" of efforts to help the homeless.
"It provides dollars for housing -be it permanent- or rapid re-housing -meaning a one year housing opportunity, where the first six months, there's actually dollars there for rent, but services are attached."
This year HUD included almost two-and-a-half-million dollars above the norm for a new project called "Step Up Sacramento." Two non-profits hope to lease 130 housing units and help about 180 chronically homeless people -including families and teenagers.
"Each of these agencies within their defined expertise will identify those housing opportunities as far as lease and services and will implement this program," Loofburrouw says.
The county's biennial homeless count will take place tonight and tomorrow morning. The last count found about 2500 people were homeless on any given night.