Homeless are Dying

It’s rough out there and tragically, too many of the homeless are dying, as the Sacramento Bee reports, because Sacramento hasn’t yet figured out an effective way to shelter and help the thousands of homeless in our community, which is why we suggest the San Antonio model.

In our area, a strategy needs to be applied to the Parkway as part of a larger strategy—capable of sheltering up to 2 or 3 thousand homeless a night—we suggest based on the Haven for Hope http://www.havenforhope.org/downloads/docs/H4H%20Brochure%2010-31-2016.pdf program—especially the courtyard strategy they use for safe rapid shelter for large numbers— in San Antonio adapted for Sacramento, see our news release of September 28, 2015 on our News Page  http://arpps.org/news.html

An excerpt from the Bee article.

Washington Thrower, 68, died after a car struck him and sped away on a Saturday night on 47th Avenue.

Shelly Allen, 49, was beaten to death by an acquaintance in Del Paso Heights.

Eddy Praradov, 30, suffered a fatal drug overdose a week after he vowed to get clean and sober.

The three had at least one thing in common, according to a new report. They were among 71 people who were homeless when they died in Sacramento County last year.

The report prepared by the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness documents the deaths of 776 people between 2002 and 2016 who the coroner’s office determined were homeless. The figure translates to about one death a week for the past 15 years.

Bob Erlenbusch, executive director of the coalition, said the findings underscore the Sacramento area’s need for more shelter beds for homeless people, and more aggressive outreach toward men and women who sleep in parks, in cars, along riverbeds and in front of churches and businesses.

Among the 71 people who died homeless last year, fewer than half took advantage of available services while they were on the streets, Erlenbusch pointed out. The numbers are based on a search of names by Sacramento Steps Forward, a nonprofit group that manages federal funds for homeless services in the county. The group maintains a database that tracks homeless people who check into shelters or receive mental health care or other treatment in the system.

More than half of the 30 people who did receive services last year were physically disabled or suffered from a mental condition, the report says. Nearly half had chronic health issues or were substance abusers.

Erlenbusch and others hope that a new pipeline of money and services will address some of the issues documented in the report.

The city and county are engaged in discussions about funding and implementation of the $64 million federal Whole Person Care pilot program, which will use matching grant dollars to connect chronically homeless people with treatment and housing. Mayor Darrell Steinberg is trying to convince the county to invest an additional $53 million in funding for mental health services, which are not covered by Whole Person Care.

Retrieved November 6 2017 from http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/homeless/article182948566.html

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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