The Board of Supervisors authorized today, the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance (DHA) to accept funding from and enter into an agreement with the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency (BCSH) to provide emergency services and support to persons experiencing homelessness in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. Sacramento County has been awarded a grant in the amount of $997,067.17 as part of the newly signed Senate Bill 89 (SB 89) by Governor Gavin Newsom which freed up $100 million in funding to counties, the 13 largest cities in the state and Continuums of Care.
This funding is immediately available to Sacramento County as a result of the swift action taken by the California State Legislature to help California respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds are administered by the BCSH Agency. The purpose of this funding is to protect the health and safety of people experiencing homelessness and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Specifically, this award is intended for investment in COVID-19 prevention and containment efforts for shelters, including but not limited to, medically indicated services and supplies, such as testing and hand washing stations, and enhancement to existing shelter facilities.
The Board of Supervisors also authorized DHA to enter into temporary lease agreements in order to increase capacity for sheltering people experiencing homelessness who are prioritized for isolation due to COVID-19, based on guidance from public health. Newly leased structures may include motels, hotels, trailers and other properties.
The COVID-19 Homelessness Response Team, a collaboration between the Department of Human Assistance (DHA), the Department of Health Services (DHS), the Division of Public Health, the City of Sacramento, the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA), and Sacramento Steps Forward (SSF), is finalizing the oversight and referral protocol for entry into the motel/hotel rooms. The Department of General Services (DGS) will develop and execute leases for all sites that are identified and procured for this purpose.
“We are proud of the collaboration across county departments, jurisdictions and organizations – coming together to address the unique needs of those experiencing homelessness during this public health crisis.” said Director of Homeless Initiatives Cynthia Cavanaugh. “We don’t have time to get this wrong, so while we are working as swiftly as possible, we are also being precise and thoughtful in our response to maximize success.”
Eligible uses for funding are broad and determined based on the need of the jurisdiction; uses include but are not limited to:
- Emergency Shelter Operations – furnishings, supplies and equipment needed to maintain a sanitary shelter environment for clients and staff
- Isolation Capacity – support for the acquisitions/leasing of hotels, motels, trailers, and other alternative isolation placements
- Street Outreach – supplies and equipment needed to protect staff and individuals served from COVID-19 when engaging with unsheltered persons, and to meet the urgent physical needs of people experiencing homelessness
- Transportation – support for the transportation of those experiencing homelessness to and from shelters and medical care
- Staffing – support for additional staff for infectious disease preparedness and case management for clients
The COVID-19 Homelessness Response Team is expected to follow up this award with a comprehensive, long term plan to contain the spread of COVID-19 among the homeless population within the next few weeks. For more information on COVID-19, visit the Sacramento County COVID-19 website