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Another Increase In Sacramento Homeless Deaths


A review of Sacramento County Coroner reports from 2015 found an increase in homeless deaths for the third year in a row.

The annual report from the Sacramento Regional Coalition To End Homelessness says there were 78 coroners reports on homeless people in 2015 compared to a total of 71 in 2014 and 60 in 2013. 

Bob Erlenbusch, executive director of the non-profit, says that accidents, violence, drug abuse and poor health are the leading causes of death.

"We need to move forward on creating a 24/7 no-barrier triage center to try to keep people safe," Erlenbusch says. "We've been advocating for the last couple of years, based on our three reports that there be a weekend drop-in center, weekend shelters. Almost half the deaths are on Friday, Saturday and Sunday when other programs close."

Half of the deaths were accidental and involved some form of transportation.

The reports show the average age of death was 48.

According to Erlenbusch. the homeless community had a homicide rate 31 times and a suicide rate 16 times those of the general population.

About 26 percent of the dead were African American, while three in five (59 percent) were Caucasian.

On Monday night, there will be an interfaith service and a reading of the names of all of the homeless people who have died in Sacramento this year.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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