On Tuesday, June 14, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors approved the Local Homeless Action Plan, which was created by the County of Sacramento, the City of Sacramento and Sacramento Steps Forward – the lead agency for the local Continuum of Care (CoC).
Background on State funding for homeless response
On July 19, 2021, the Governor signed Assembly Bill 140 (Chapter 111, Statutes of 2021), which allocated $2 billion over two years in Homeless, Housing, Assistance And Prevention (HHAP) Round 3 (HHAP-3) and HHAP Round 4 (HHAP-4) grant funding. In HHAP-3, Sacramento County is eligible for $7,768,228 in funding.
As a condition of receiving HHAP-3 funding, jurisdictions and CoCs must develop and formally approve a Local Homeless Action Plan (LHAP)
that reflects strategies to address State developed Outcome Goals. Sacramento County worked collaboratively with the CoC and the City of Sacramento to develop the Action Plan. This plan reflects strategies that align with best practices to prevent and end homelessness, and are intended to help address gaps in the local homelessness system of care over time.
In addition to ensuring that Sacramento County can draw down these critical State funds, the LHAP also serves as a strategic framework for future investments and reflects best practices in preventing and ending homelessness. Guided by a local gaps analysis that quantified the estimated needs in prevention, sheltering and housing, the LHAP is oriented around five broad strategies:
- Build and scale a countywide Coordinated Access System
- Ensure sheltering programs are focused on re-housing
- Increase permanent housing opportunities
- Expand prevention and diversion resources
- Invest in community capacity building and training
The LHAP also stresses the need to identify and mitigate racial disparities within the homelessness programs and system. While persons identifying as Black only represent 11% of the population in our CoC’s geographic area, they represent approximately 39% of individuals who are experiencing homelessness and approximately 39% of families with children experiencing homelessness have a Black head of household. Additionally, local data reflecting persons identifying as American Indian/Alaskan Native are not accessing homeless services in proportion to the number of people believed to be experiencing homelessness from that community.
Through the County budget and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, the County has made significant investments in programs that align with these strategies. The LHAP will serve as the countywide strategic plan, reflecting the collective efforts of the County, City of Sacramento, the CoC and other collaborative partners.
What happens now?
With this approval, the Department of Human Assistance (DHA) will submit an application for the County allocation of HHAP-3 funding on or before June 30, 2022. Notification of award is expected by Sept. 28, 2022. Efforts under HHAP are intended to be invested in evidence-based solutions that resolve or prevent homelessness and which align with the LHAP. The plan document will be updated over time with measurable action steps as County, CoC, and City investments are made and new projects and programs are implemented, including those funded under HHAP-3.