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Sacramento Has More Than $100 Million To Help Homeless. Now What?

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Mayor Darrell Steinberg struck a deal with Sacramento County supervisors Tuesday to help the homeless.

Sacramento County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved $44 million for mental health services for the homeless. In exchange, Steinberg promises to put a major dent in the city's growing homeless population.

"The city's going to be able to provide that intensive outreach—case management—we're working together on housing and on emergency shelter, but without the mental health services, people with severe mental illness can't succeed in housing. So it takes the combination of resources," he said.

So where did the money come from? Officials say it was set aside in the county's pot of funds allocated under the state Mental Health Services Act.

Advocates argued it should be combined with the $60 million the city recently approved for homeless services.

"We need shelter. We need housing. We need a number of different types of services, and there's no one intervention that's going to solve the issue of homelessness in Sacramento," said Loaves and Fishes Executive Director Noel Kammermann,

But Steinberg says it's enough to take at least 2,000 homeless people off the street. He says approved city and county funds puts more than $100 million toward homelessness.

The question for the homeless is whether it'll do something about the affordable housing crisis that they say got them here in the first place.

"This plan does not underline two criteria—people are becoming homeless because of lack of affordable housing and increasing rent," said Robert Coplin, who has qualified for affordable housing in Sacramento.

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