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Sacramento spent $57 million on homeless response in 2023, audit shows

Sacramento's homeless response cost $57 million in 2023, audit shows
Sacramento's homeless response cost $57 million in 2023, audit shows 02:17

SACRAMENTO — A Sacramento City Hall audit is showing just how much money taxpayers spent on homeless response in the past year – and it's a lot.

The city spent $57 million on homeless response in 2023 compared to $10 million on homeless response in 2015.

Last year's spending would be equal to the cost of 380 Sacramento police officers for a year or 185 fire investigators.

"For every one person we house, three more enter the system. This is a huge issue," Councilmember Mai Vang said.

Vang called for the audit of Sacramento taxpayer dollars going to homeless response.

"This is really going to give us an opportunity to dive in deeper and learn what we're doing that's working and what's not working because we can't keep doing what we're doing and getting the same type of outcomes," Vang said.

Former Congressmember Doug Ose said the audit exposes the city's inability to track how well the money is working. The audit does not include how many individuals have been placed in permanent housing.

It also says the city "may not be performing adequate analysis' to effectively direct the homeless to resources.

"So they're spending $57 million and they can't even analyze whether they're being successful or not," Ose said. "The audit is very clear: the effort to address homelessness is failing."

This audit comes out the same day the city released a new budget forecast showing the city deficit will grow to $66 million next year. So the city will have to make spend cuts somewhere.

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