Sacramento County has hired a new non-profit shelter operator to take over operations of the Full Service Rehousing Shelter (FSRS) program. FSRS provides low-barrier sheltering and re-housing services for highly vulnerable adults experiencing unsheltered homelessness that may not be served successfully by traditional sheltering programs. FSRS provides 24-hour interim housing, meals, case management, transportation, and support services. Currently, this program is being operated by Sacramento Self-Help Housing, Inc. (SSHH) through a scattered-site model using approximately 23 single-family homes. Due to ongoing financial concerns with SSHH, the County will not pursue a contract renewal with SSHH for the Scattered Site Shelter program after the contract's end on June 30, 2023.
The County has entered into an agreement with City Net, a non-profit homeless services organization that has a history of collaborative success in several communities in California. City Net is an organization that provides street outreach, case management, housing navigation, bridge housing, shelter operations, census coordination, and more through coordination with local service partners and community-based organizations. For this contract, City Net will manage the day-to-day operations and provide wrap-around case management and supportive services for program participants. Additionally, City Net will lease sites for use in this program and manage landlord relationships. City Net held a hiring event this past Saturday to identify staffing for the expansion of work in Sacramento.
“City Net is pleased to have been selected as the new Sacramento County scattered site project lead," said Brad Fieldhouse, President, and Executive Director for City Net. “We recognize and share the commitment by all parties involved to continue this important work, and our team is looking forward to jumping in and giving it a fresh start."
Many of the current property owners and landlords who have been leasing scattered site housing to SSHH are owed several months of unpaid rent. In anticipation of closing its doors no later than June 30, SSHH has been in communication with landlords to ramp down leases formally used for sheltering and to share the opportunity for potential continuation with a newly selected provider. These units are vital to the long-term success of the FSRS program, and County staff have been working directly with landlords to identify the amount of arrears owed, repairs in need and continuing relationships for future collaborative opportunities.
To expedite the start date for City Net to begin work, the County has executed a short-term contract to ensure that City Net has a three-month overlap with Sacramento Self Help Housing before fully taking over the program for a multi-year term beginning July 1, 2023.
“We appreciate the County's diligence in finding an operator that can help transition the clients without risk of them losing shelter," said Sacramento Self Help Housing Board Chair Ethan Evans. “Our number one priority is the safety and security of this vulnerable population, and we trust the County and City Net will provide them with what they need to succeed."
The intent of this agreement is to bridge the ramp-down of this program with SSHH in regard to program participants, and the ramp-up of City Net as the operator moving forward. During this transition period, no new clients will be enrolled in the program; services under this contract are intended to minimize displacement due to the ramp-down of SSHH and to provide smooth transitions for those clients that will be receiving services from City Net. The County has already started to pay unpaid lease balances, utilities and damages to property owners and property management companies and plans to pay future rents for the months of May and June 2023, if the landlord is interested in remaining in the program.
“The County has been working tirelessly to ensure none of our clients go unsheltered during this transition," said Director of Sacramento County Homeless Services and Housing Emily Halcon. “This program has had a lot of success in the past, and we know that once it gets running again at full capacity, we'll see positive outcomes for our unhoused population."
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