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Homeless in Sacramento

‘Homeless Industrial Complex’ Thriving in Sacramento with Latest Point-in-time ‘Homeless’ Count

Sacramento Mayor says ‘it’s a housing crisis’

By Katy Grimes, June 27, 2019 8:35 am

“Too many people who have been housed and fragile are becoming fragile and unhoused.” ~Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg 


“This is becoming a ‘go-to’ city,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg Wednesday at the end of his press conference on Sacramento’s growing homeless problem.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg

Steinberg held a press conference to share the new “Point-In-Time” count of the city’s homeless population, conducted over two nights in January, which has grown 19 percent, according to the report. Steinberg acknowledged that the official count is up to over 5,500. Instead of acknowledging that this is a growing problem, Steinberg focused on a category in the report of “unsheltered chronic homelessness” which went down by 7 percent in Sacramento. “That represents positive progress and is not occurring in most cities throughout California,” Steinberg said.

“People don’t want to remain homeless,” the Mayor said. “We need to offer them the right kind of shelter.” And then he again said “We have a housing crisis because of an affordability crisis.”

“Too many people who have been housed and fragile are becoming fragile and unhoused,” Mayor Steinberg said.

Steinberg said he and the Sacramento City Council have allocated $100 million out of the Measure U funding for the homeless. But originally Steinberg said that $100 million would be spent to build affordable housing.

Steinberg  complained that some neighborhoods are complaining about the homeless, and then say “Don’t put the shelters in our neighborhood.” He singled out the neighborhood of Land Park, which is adjacent to downtown Sacramento just to the South. This is my neighborhood.

Steinberg spoke of the “homeless” without addressing their open lawlessness, drug dealing, theft, people masturbating in public, shooting up heroin in the open, soliciting drugs and prostitution in public, and defecating and urinating on streets in front of local businesses. It’s not a pretty picture. According to Mayor Steinberg, “it’s a housing crisis.”

Steinberg also said 93 percent of the homeless are from Sacramento, but that statistic is manipulated as they count anyone who has been on Sacramento streets for one year as a “local.”

Homeless in Sacramento

The motive for the Point-in-time homeless counts appears to be federal funding. Point-in-time homeless counts are mandated every two years by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and impact the federal funds going to the state and counties. The media claims “the results have strong influence on local spending and policy decisions.” I’ve spoken to local police assigned to deal with homeless populations who say the counts are inaccurate at best because there is no way to really count the homeless. They say (as do others involved) that cities and counties do not want to eradicate homelessness… because the federal funding would dry up.

Ironically, the city just closed a triage shelter for the vagrants living on the streets. Mayor Steinberg is putting his hopes on the Capitol Park Hotel which was used for decades as housing for low-income disabled adults. The city is kicking them out, and renovating the hotel for $23 million. Steinberg says it will have 180 beds for homeless by August.

As one neighbor said in response to Steinberg’s press conference, “these are the drug addicts and mentally ill who refuse the city services. To call them ‘homeless’ is an insult to those that are truly down on their luck. They are ‘vagrants, ‘criminals,’ ‘druggies,’ and ‘junkies’ who have chosen this lifestyle.”

The Homeless Industrial Complex

Fresh from the State Legislature, in 2016, as Sacramento’s new Mayor, former State Senator Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), announced his plans for making homelessness in Sacramento his priority, through more spending. Gov. Newsom recently announced the formation of the Homeless and Supportive Housing Advisory Task Force and its co-chairs Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, “two city leaders from cities ravaged by homelessness, filth, and disease.”

Homeless in Sacramento

Most Sacramento residents are sympathetic to those who are down on their luck and need a hand. However, what one local neighborhood group has found in helping those on the street, the truly “homeless” actually accept help and avail themselves of the available city and county services. The druggies, vagrants and transients, do not.

“What we see in Land Park, roaming through our neighborhood during the day and in the late hours of the night, are scary individuals feeling car door handles for unlocked cars, sleeping in our carports and leaving trash and liquor bottles and other drug paraphernalia, stealing anything not locked down on the porch, peeking in our windows,” one neighbor wrote to Mayor Steinberg in an email. “These are the drug addicts and mentally ill who refuse the city services. They have diminished our quality of life in this great city and charming neighborhood, and now you are inviting more to come – and trying to shame us for not welcoming them with open arms. They may stay in the shelter, they may choose not to. Now, there will be more of them to go through our cars, pass out in our yards, take items off of our porches, whatever they can do to feed their addictions.”

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16 thoughts on “‘Homeless Industrial Complex’ Thriving in Sacramento with Latest Point-in-time ‘Homeless’ Count

  1. Why is it we have such an increasing homeless problem at the same time as an increasing illegal alien problem. Hmm

  2. Hi Katie,
    Another great report. We are going through the same scenario here in Fremont, California. Our historic neighborhood is facing the same criticism for opposing a Low Barrier Navigation Center on a walking path to our neighborhood elementary school.

    The city repeatedly leaves out the main component of this type of shelter, when trying to sale it to the public. The residents are allowed to be drug users ,have untreated mental health issues and criminal backgrounds, they are accepted in as long as they are willing to work toward permanent housing. Fremont has great services in place that the transients are not willing to use because it would mean getting clean and sober!
    I look forward to reading your future honest reporting on this matter.

  3. Mayor Steinberg et al can no longer pretend to be oblivious about what is really going on with the homelessness and vagrancy disaster when there is such a wealth of information and experience about it available to us now. This situation is NOT about housing. For probably 8 out of 10 people on the street it is about drug addition, mental illness, and alcoholism. Seems to me everyone is now aware of what the real story is except for the politicians and their cronies!

    To see Steinberg, his twin L.A. Mayor Garcetti, and other such city “leaders” hanging on for dear life to this false housing narrative and spending SO MUCH MONEY (it’s obscene) on token housing shams (“wet” ones, where one is allowed to continue with their addictions as was pointed out above by Wendy Arnold) only confirms that this IS about a $$$Homeless Industrial Complex$$$ in which the politicians and others have a huge stake.

    Not a good situation for these city leaders to be in when they are finally held accountable. And they will eventually be held accountable; the public is thoroughly fed up and it’s becoming very clear that these politicians are making angry activists out of previously uninvolved citizens. Probably not a good idea! This is happening throughout the state. L.A. Mayor Garcetti is facing a torches-and-pitchforks recall effort at the moment. In L.A. Dr. Drew Pinsky wants these people prosecuted for the deaths that have occurred and will soon occur en masse from disease epidemics and he is using his soapbox to actively investigate how that can be achieved.

  4. Why not sexually segregated and supervised quonset hut type barracks as temporary housing for homeless people until they get their lives together and can move out. How about opening up some FEMA camps?

    1. Rev. Andy Bales, head of L.A.’s Union Rescue Mission, a man with A LOT of experience in this arena, has said that he advised City of L.A., many times, how they could provide clean and comfortable temporary shelter — of the barracks-type you suggest, with plumbing and kitchens, security, etc. — for $10,000 a bed (vs. their “$500,000 a unit”). He thinks that temp shelter is actually the best answer for the category of homeless (probably 20%) who will accept shelter and services and who only need a respite before getting back to taking care of themselves.
      He said the city wasn’t interested.
      What does that tell you?

      1. The administrative compliance overhead is why we afford to build anything. That why it costs $200k to build a 500 sf house.

  5. Isn’t it possible that these conditions are the result of Democrat politicians establishing sanctuary cities so that drugs could surreptitiously satisfy the habits of rich donors, executives and professionals and subject young people to addiction through a network of south of the border suppliers? They want us to fear Russian interference with our elections while accommodating throngs of illegal immigrants who potentially steal votes from American citizens.

  6. It is time to replace Mayor Steinberg. We are under siege with druggies , vagrants ,and criminals in the Garden Highway area. It’s a constant battle hear. Theft ,Trespass ,and Break ins are weekly at my home. Any homeless person that wants help is provided for. It’s the people who don’t want help who are on the streets in my area. Forget having any laws enforced. It is not because we don’t have good law officers. They don’t have any support from our elected officials. The “Hug A Thug” program state wide of early release of criminals and raising the bar for felonies are coming back to destroy our communities. No matter how much money we throw at the problem,until there is better leadership nothing will improve.

  7. Sacramento has a homeless and a housing affordability problem because of the failed policies of Mayor Darrell Steinberg and his fellow Democrat socialist cronies who completely control the city and the state of California. They enable drug addicts and the mentally ill to camp on public property with impunity and propose no viable long term solutions. They have enacted restrictive zoning laws and onerously high development fees that limits new housing from built. Darrell Steinberg and Democrat socialists have made a mess of a once great city and state.

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