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Sacramento County Declares Emergency Homeless Shelter Crisis

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The Sacramento County supervisors voted on Tuesday to declare a homeless shelter crisis.

The declaration will make it eligible for some of the $20 million in state funding for homeless housing programs, if the state approves a request from the county and the city of Sacramento. Both city and county say that is all but a done deal. 

Although the vote was 5-0, some supervisors expressed a desire for a change to the spending plan.

Phil Serna requested more money for behavioral and mental health services, while Don Nottoli asked that more families be eligible for shelter services.

The city of Sacramento is expected to make a similar declaration, once attorneys decide on language. Sacramento County and the homeless services non-profit Sacramento Steps Forward will help administer the funds.

California had approved more than $500 million in one-time state funding for homelessness for cities experiencing crises. Some of this money is dependent upon local governments declaring a homelessness emergency.

City homeless services coordinator Emily Halcon said the money the local agencies will receive is of the short-term variety, and that approximately half will go to support existing shelter programs.

“The other half will go to augmenting a county-run rental-assistance program to help people pay rent, pay deposits and receive case management and housing," Halcon said.

If all goes well, 1,600 people could be helped in a year's time, she said.

Nick Miller contributed to this report.

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