Homeless Bureaucracy Growing

And it will probably hinder, not help, the problem, as this editorial from the Sacramento Bee notes.

An excerpt.

Without a doubt, homelessness is a problem in Sacramento County that’s desperately in need of a solution. Every year, tens of millions of dollars are spent trying to help people get off the streets – and, every year, the problem only seems to get worse.

We have reservations, though, about whether any solution should involve yet another layer of bureaucracy, with yet another cook in an already crowded kitchen of stakeholders, each with a different agenda on homelessness.

On Tuesday, the Sacramento County supervisors voted to do just that, moving forward with a position for a new director of homeless initiatives – at a cost of $217,261 a year in salary and benefits.

Modeled after Los Angeles’ and San Francisco’s setups, the job will involve coordinating the county-level policies and programs related to homelessness, from funding for housing and shelters to mental health programs to code enforcement. The director will be the point person, working to put the county’s money to its best use. Last year, that was about $40 million.

It’s a big job. But what’s troubling is it’s a job with duties that are, at best, vague and, at worst, redundant.

Whoever is hired will find themselves stepping on a lot of toes. The stakeholders don’t necessarily agree on how to help homeless people get off the streets, don’t always work together and don’t seem to recognize any sort of chain of command.

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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