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Sacramento announces incident management team to tackle homeless crisis

Sacramento makes desperate move to get homeless off the streets
Sacramento makes desperate move to get homeless off the streets 02:06

SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg announced a new approach to tackling homelessness during the State of the City series: utilize emergency management plans and treat the issue like an emergency disaster. 

Steinberg also announced a newly established incident management team (IMT) will address solutions to homelessness within the city. Under the new plan, the Sacramento Fire Department will take the lead in managing the response because the department has experience responding to and working with multiple agencies during disasters. Firefighters are also the first to respond to a crisis.

"They have the skill, the expertise, and the community support to lead this effort," the mayor said.

Steinberg cited the January storms and the city and county responses, saying that while there may be changes to the approach for homelessness, the approach is "all hands on deck."

He went on to say: "Homelessness is not a one-time natural disaster. It's ongoing, so our joint emergency response will in some ways look different that storm response."

Part two of a three-part State of the City series of events focused on homelessness Wednesday. The panel discussion took place in WellSpace Health's newly acquired health and wellness facility on Stockton Boulevard.

The Sacramento Fire Department will coordinate the activities of the Department of Community Response, the Sacramento Police Department, code enforcement, county behavioral health workers, park rangers, and outside service partners like Hope Cooperative.

Steinberg shared that Brian Pedro with the fire department will run the response. Pedro is a registered nurse with experience in emergency services and is a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force reserves, said Steinberg.

Sacramento used a coordinated interdepartmental response to homelessness, but now, the city will operate with the IMT structure, based on work by the National Incident Management System.

Steinberg will wrap up the State of the City events on Friday.

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