Sacramento City Council Votes to Declare Emergency Homeless Shelter Crisis

SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento City Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution declaring an emergency homeless shelter crisis, unlocking close to $20 million in state funding for the region.

The city is planning on expanding its existing shelter programs and also launching a brand new triage shelter.

"Because it gives us the resources to be able to expand what we're already doing that, again, has already resulted in getting hundreds off the streets. But hundreds needs to become thousands," said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

Some estimates have Sacramento's homeless issue reaching upward of 5,000 people living on the streets across the city and the county.

"The majority of this money is going to be jointly administered by the city and the county through what we call our continuum of care, Sacramento Steps Forward," Steinberg said. "And that's a good thing because these issues know no artificial boundaries. It's largely a city problem but the larger county is affected in very real ways as well."

"I think it is a fundamental step in us not only solving the homeless issue here in Sacramento, but also in energizing the community and healing the community," said Rachel Davidson.

Davidson is the project manager for the Downtown Streets Team in Sacramento. About $600,000 of the funding will go to her team for hands-on intensive case management for permanent housing.

"Our team members are engaging with individuals who are living out on the streets on a daily bases," she said. "Building trusting and meaningful relationships to hopefully be able to bring them into shelters, to wrap them into services where they wouldn't have otherwise."

"Then if we can move people out into permanent housing every three to four months or every six months we can actually get thousands of people off the streets. And that's this vision, that's the goal and that's what we intend to do," Steinberg said.

The mayor told FOX40 the hope is to have the funding by Feb. 1. In the meantime, the city and county will be looking aggressively for sites to build the triage shelters.