Home>Articles>Sacramento Homeless Grows As City/County Spend Million$ More on Accommodating Them

Homeless guy sleeping on the golf course, while golfers play through, in Sacramento. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

Sacramento Homeless Grows As City/County Spend Million$ More on Accommodating Them

‘If you want more of something, subsidize it; if you want less of something, tax it’

By Katy Grimes, July 12, 2022 2:30 am

The number of homeless living on Sacramento streets has increased over the past three years, according to the new Point-in-Time count released by Sacramento Steps Forward, the City of Sacramento reports. However, based on interviews with homeless, they were living on the streets prior to the Covid virus pandemic, so this increase can’t be blamed on the pandemic.

“Conducted over two nights in February, the PIT count found 9,278 people living without homes in Sacramento County — a 67 percent increase from the last PIT count, conducted in 2019.

Sacramento’s homeless has even surpassed San Francisco’s. “Within the city limits of Sacramento, just over 5,000 unsheltered people… were counted in a new homelessness report, compared with about 4,400 people in San Francisco. But with Sacramento’s population of 525,000 versus San Francisco’s 874,000, that works out to a rate of 952 per 100,000 in Sacramento versus 503 per 100,000 for San Francisco,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported last week.

The City of Sacramento is spending more than $44 million to provide eight homeless shelters and camping options, most not yet built or ready, and three Project Homekey motel conversions, the Globe reported in April. According to city officials, “most of that comes from state and federal grants that are not certain year to year.”

Curiously, in April we also reported, Sacramento County has more than 11,200 homeless living on the streets and in the parks, and all shelter beds and spaces are full on any given night. And those were numbers provided by Sacramento Steps Forward.

Someone can’t count.

Sacramento City and County Continuum of Care. (Photo: Sacramento Steps Forward 2019-2020 Annual Report)

“Currently, the City of Sacramento has five motels under contract, representing 370 rooms housing approximately 450 people,” the city reports. “Overall, the City operates 1,050 safe spaces, beds, tiny homes and motel rooms each night, a tenfold increase since 2017.”

That’s 1,050 “safe spaces, beds, tiny homes and motel rooms each night” for at least 11,200 homeless – it’s not even a dent in the homeless living on the streets.

“Currently available shelter for homeless totals 164 spots according to this list – 104 actual beds, and 60 tents in a public park,” the Globe reported in April. “Sacramento has more than the 11,222 homeless people accounted for Sacramento in 2019-2020. Where are they sleeping? We don’t know how many are sleeping in their cars in designated parking lots, and other default parking locations.”

“Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg earlier this week proposed expanding use of a facility on Auburn Boulevard from a current weather-related respite center to a full-time outreach, triage and respite center. The proposal requires City Council approval.” The facility has 50 temporary beds.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg is a career politician who has mostly created problems and spent a lot of taxpayer money in his 30+ years in politics, including as the Senate President in the California Legislature.

And as we reported in April:

The Globe also reported that Sacramento Steps Forward, responsible for “continuum of care” for the homeless, had a really fuzzy mission with really big funding.

“The Globe tried to access other Sacramento Steps Forward annual reports since 2011 on its website, but there are no live links.

In 2019-2020, Sacramento Steps Forward received $25,990,012 from the State, and $23,349,292 from the Federal government (above). Most of the nearly $50 million was earmarked for housing. They spent nearly $802,000 on “administration.”

Notably, mental health and drug addiction treatment is not identified on these charts.”

Nearly $50 million earmarked for housing, and we still have 11,000 homeless drug addicts living on the streets? How is this possible? And how is it possible to spend $802,000 on “administration” unless there are some fat salaries and benefits being paid?

“The 2022 Homeless Count resulted in 330 in-person interviews conducted with individuals sleeping in unsheltered locations throughout Sacramento County,” Sacramento Steps Forward reported.

“The vast majority of people experiencing homelessness continue to be from SacramentoCounty, despite concern that many are from other communities. A commonmisperception of people experiencing homelessness is that most are ‘transients,’ from’out of town,’ or ‘outsiders of the community,'” the Sacramento Steeps Forward report claims.

Every homeless advocate I’ve spoken with about the origin of Sacramento’s homeless says this is not accurate. These are not our neighbors, as city officials would have us believe. The homeless claim to be from Sacramento so they won’t be put on a one-way bus back to family where they came from. According to City Councilman Sean Loloee who interviews the homeless along Roseville Road in his district, it takes him two or three site visits before they admit where they originate from. And most every one is from another state, but traveled here for the legendary government tolerance of the homeless, as well for the promises of tiny homes, hotel rooms, and free benefits. But most are drug addicted and just want to be left alone to live the street life of drug addiction, according to homeless advocates.

It’s that tolerance which has made Sacramento such a homeless-friendly city. This photo epitomizes this:

Homeless dude sleeping on the golf course, while golfers play through, in Sacramento. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

The William Land Park golf course is a lovely, well-used 9-hole municipal course in the middle of the 160-acre park.

A boatload of money has been spent on the homeless crisis in the Sacramento region, but mostly within the City of Sacramento, which appears to only have facilitated the growth.

I remember President Ronald Reagan’s message about this: “If you want more of something, subsidize it; if you want less of something, tax it.”

I’m less eloquent with my own stray cat theory: If you leave food out each night for a couple of stray cats, within one week you will be feeding 50. It’s a type of subsidy.

The city and county continue to ignore actual successful, proven programs to help change the lives of the homeless, drug addicted and mentally ill. We have several in Sacramento including the Union Gospel Mission and St. John’s Center for Real Change. San Antonio Texas is home to the Haven For Hope, which also has astounding success in getting homeless addicts and mentally ill off the street, triaged and into proper programs for treatment and recovery… Or ongoing treatment.

Here are a few more recent photos of life in Sacramento:

Sacramento homeless living under W/X freeway offramp, April 15, 2022. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)
Homeless in Sacramento, CA, X Street. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)
Homeless tent Sutterville Road, Wm. Land Park, Sacramento. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)
Homeless guy sleeping on running trail in Wm. Land Park, Sacramento. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

When is Sacramento going to grow up and start electing people who care about governing?

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18 thoughts on “Sacramento Homeless Grows As City/County Spend Million$ More on Accommodating Them

  1. Great article. I’ve lived in Sacramento 66 years and have seen the homeless explosion in the past 3 or 4 years. It’s very sad and dangerous to see our beautiful city overtaken by the homeless (many from other States) while we pay for it.

  2. When the voters organize and start carrying placards. Throwing things and painting their slogans on buildings then maybe city hall will get off of their dumb a__es and protect the rights of all people.

  3. Mayor Steinberg and every member of the City Council should be voted out. There’s been plenty of money to address homelessness in Sacramento, but at every turn, Steinberg et al. have dallied and wrung their hands. It is a travesty that taxpaying, law abiding citizens of Sacramento are being subjected to this ineptitude in governance. The city needs pragmatic leaders with common sense who take a “tough love” approach to homelessness

  4. Good thing you are continually covering this, Katy Grimes; otherwise we wouldn’t hear a THING about it. How is this theft of taxpayer dollars by corrupt officials —- that only makes the homeless/vagrant crisis worse, never better —– not criminal activity? There should be indictments, not more money, more money, more money funneled into this horrorshow. Token bits of shelter provided to placate the public, endless lies about how the corrupt city govt is going to FIX IT FOR REAL THIS TIME, endless and repeated bad and ineffective policies when workable ones exist, stacks and stacks of piles of money unaccounted for, and meanwhile no oversight, no audit, no accountability. But what would you expect from a gang of politicians led by the Honorable (NOT) Mayor Darrell Steinberg, a man with a checkered history of political monkey business? They have been getting away with building slush funds for themselves and their “friends” and donors and ineffective non-profits and useless city homeless departments and all the rest of the flush-with-cash Homeless Industrial Complex for how many years now?
    Another article here at The Globe by Evan Symon about the online gambling measure on Nov.’s ballot mentioned support of the measure by the usual suspect CA city mayors, including one Mayor Darrell Steinberg, which is not exactly a surprise. So what’s the plan now? Past $$billions$$ have been spent and now they seem to be sniffing around for further slush funds, uh, I mean “homeless funding?” Because that’s what they said the money should be used for. And it would be the motherlode, wouldn’t it! By supporting the passage of this gambling measure they seem to me to be licking their lips in anticipation of their potential take from it. And how is all of this different from organized crime and the mob?
    Remove this corrupt leadership once and for all. Getting out the sensible vote in huge numbers would likely overcome any cheating and would send many of these people packing once and for all. To vote them back in or not vote at all would guarantee more of the same. Voting them out is the only answer!

    1. Get Dominion Voting Systems (DVS – “devious”) out of California, first – otherwise, the security exploits can be utilized by the corrupt County Clerks to skew the vote counts….

  5. Stop the amoral drug and human trafficking (prostitution) activities legalized by this governor and this progressive demo-rat legislature. Clear out the rubbish littering our streets, stop panhandling and deport vagrants to their state of birth and we will get the California of my youth back again. Vote out all demo-rats before it is too late.

  6. Democrat Mayor Darrell Steinberg and his Democrat cronies on the Sacramento City Council have controlled the city for years and they’re responsible for Sacramento’s homeless mess. They’ve turned Sacramento into a lawless and crime ridden hellhole. They need to be held accountable?

  7. My family has lived in Sacramento since the 1840’s and has been involved in many aspects of its growth. My father owner several local newspapers and provided jobs to about 50 people before changes started coming about which restricted him. I know of two families who were homeless that he put up in a hotel, paid their rent and hired them. I have sent notes to our mayor, that were unanswered, about our homeless problem. Sacramento seems to be focused on sheltering the homeless rather than also providing them with jobs. My partner and I have started a company through which housing, meals, clothing and jobs will be provided. We need some seed money to set it up, but once it gets going, it should be self sufficient.

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