Sue FrostPosted by Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost
At the beginning of 2018, Sacramento County launched an ambitious new program that attempted to prioritize getting the 250 homeless people who cost the most amount of money each year in taxpayer dollars, into permanent housing.  Some of these homeless people are costing the county upwards of $150,000 a year, so it made sense to me to focus our efforts on getting them off the streets. Now that it’s been around a year since we launched that program, I wanted to explain to you how the program works, and share with you the exciting news regarding how successful it has been.

As soon as the program was established last year, the Sheriff’s department in coordination with Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services and the Sacramento County Department of Technology established the list of the 250 people costing the most money.  These costs primarily come in the form of emergency room visits, jail visits, and utilizing alcohol, drug, and mental health services — all of which can be quite costly.

Once the 250 people were chosen, they were assigned to individual case managers, who then had the job of physically locating them in the community.  This is no easy task, and can often be one of the largest obstacles to getting them treatment. Once they are found, they are told that they are eligible for fast-tracked housing and services, but convincing them to take part in it can be its own challenge.  On average, this is the 7th housing program they have been affiliated with, and their level of trust with the government has often eroded. Many remain skeptical that they aren’t going to just get put on another list where nothing happens.

Once they sign up for the program, the case manager helps to clear any obstacles that may prevent them from getting the assistance they need.  They will ensure they have met all their court requirements, are taking the proper medications, have a valid identification card, have a social security card, etc.  After all these obstacles are lifted, they are then placed straight into housing that is wrapped in social services on-site.

The housing currently available to them are apartment style units that are located in the Del Paso Heights area and in South Sacramento.  We are using apartment style housing for a couple key reasons. First, it allows us to acquire the number of units we need in a much faster and more affordable way.  Second, it allows us to save on staffing costs, since our social services staff stays on-site instead of travelling long distances between visits.

Many of my constituents were skeptical when this program was announced because they thought it would be a waste of time. They felt that these 250 homeless people would never accept county services.  To be honest with you I had some doubts as well, but remained optimistic that even if we were able to house a small portion of this segment of the homeless population, it would be a successful program. I am thrilled to be able to report to you that 196 of the 250 have signed up for the program (including the #1 most expensive person), and 109 of them have already been housed! This is an incredible feat, and I am thrilled with the result thus far.

I know it is easy to become frustrated and jaded when trying to tackle the growing problem of homelessness in our community.  The problem is so large that it can sometimes feel overwhelming. But if we focus on prudent solutions to this problem that are mindful of protecting taxpayer dollars, we can make some positive strides in the right direction, and this program is evidence of just that. Thank you for reading – and as always, if you want to contact me call me at 916-874-5491, or e-mail me at SupervisorFrost@saccounty.net.

Sue Frost represents the 4th District, which includes all or part of the communities of Citrus Heights, Folsom, Orangevale, Antelope, Rio Linda, Elverta, Gold River, Rancho Murieta, North Highlands, Carmichael, Foothill Farms, Fair Oaks, and Rancho Cordova.


Greg Cannon's picture
Joined: 09/07/2016
Posts: 26
Post rating: 37

charity begins at home

I'm sorry, but this won't be very progressive. I know our politicians love to preen about how much they care about the less fortunate among us, but how about spending money on those of us who pay for the generosity and virtue of our politicians? I remember when Jerry wanted his new gas tax. We just couldn't live without it, according to Jerry and his pals. Now the new gov wants to extend free health care to non-citizens. How much is that going to cost us? How is it that we have enough money for costly virtue-signaling when we couldn't live without the new gas tax?

Providing "permanent housing" for the homeless will not stop them from being arrested or using the emergency room. We need a decent road between RM and Folsom. It will increase our property values and increase the financial viability of the club.

We are contributing vast sums to the treasury and getting little or nothing in return. I'm tired of platitudes and the excuse that there are other priorities or that it's not in the scope of a politician's abilities. Advocating for your constituents always is within the scope of an elected official's duties.

I appreciate Supervisor Frost's attention to our community, but it's not enough. I say it's time for our elected officials to get on board or find another occupation. We should vote out every incumbent who doesn't get on board, and continue doing that until we get what we deserve.

Chris Woods's picture
Joined: 06/15/2016
Posts: 15
Post rating: 11

Homeless Program Math

Let’s see if we can do “Government” math. 250 homeless times $150,000 a year equals $37.5M. That’s right, almost $40,000,000. The “Government” solution, spend $15,000,000 for more beaucrats to “study and organize”. County services, including Sheriff, Psychology, Technology totaling $10,000,000 must be utilized for management. Of course, apartments, furniture, clothing, etc., must be purchased to the tune of $50,000,000. Not to mention, food stamps, welfare checks, Medicaid, etc.. The “Government” solves the $37.5M problem, by spending $75M. And if the solution doesn’t work, will the “Government” abandon the project? Of course not! The “Government” will double the manpower and expenditures.

C L Woods

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