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Elk Grove Citizen

Unsheltered Homelessness Decreases 41 Percent in Sacramento

Jun 11, 2024 11:16AM ● By Sacramento City Express News Release

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The number of people living outdoors in the city and county of Sacramento plunged 41 percent between 2022 and 2024, one of the largest decreases in homelessness statewide.

The biennial Point-in-Time Count released June 5 by the nonprofit Sacramento Steps Forward found that overall homelessness, including those living in emergency shelters, fell by 29 percent compared to the count two years ago.

Sacramento Steps Forward coordinates community-level efforts to end homelessness. Every two years, it recruits hundreds of volunteers to go out and count people who are unhoused throughout Sacramento County. This year’s count, on Jan. 24 and 25, found 3,944 people living unsheltered, down from 6,664 people identified in the 2022 count.

The total number of unhoused people counted, including those in shelter and temporary housing, dropped by 29 percent from 9,278 to 6,615.

“These results are truly outstanding and, undeniably, reflect Sacramento city and county’s ‘all in’ approach to addressing this crisis,” said Lisa Bates, CEO of Sacramento Steps Forward.

Leaders from Sacramento city and county said the decrease in unsheltered homelessness reflected the tens of millions of dollars invested by both local governments in standing up new emergency shelter beds and permanent supportive housing units, and an increasingly coordinated response to sharing resources and responsibilities.

“There are still too many people who are homeless for us to declare victory but maybe homelessness is not so intractable after all,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “The 41% reduction in unsheltered homelessness is dramatic and affirms that the steady course we set seven years ago to address this state and national crisis is working.”

District 2 County Supervisor Patrick Kennedy also cited the work the county has been doing, including opening two Safe Stay sleeping cabin communities in his district. A Safe Stay community now under construction on Stockton Boulevard in the city of Sacramento will include tiny homes provided to the city by the state. It will be run by the county through its partnership agreement with the city.

“It is encouraging to see positive results from the hard work we’ve been doing for years,” Kennedy said. “The county has invested significant resources into new programs, services and shelter beds. I am proud to have many of these shelter beds in my district and more coming this year. Together, we’re making a difference!”

Sacramento Steps Forward CEO Bates noted several significant factors that have helped ease the crisis of unsheltered homelessness in Sacramento, including:

Direct assistance from the state to cities, counties and Continuums of Care through the Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention Grant (HHAP) program. The city, county and Sacramento Steps Forward have received $120 million in HHAP funding since 2019. HHAP currently pays for 97% of the city’s emergency shelter beds.

The partnership agreement signed by the County and City in 2022 increased street outreach to homeless encampments with teams that include county behavioral health workers.

A sizeable increase in emergency shelter and homeless housing capacity. The number of shelter and transitional housing beds in the city and county has increased by 84 percent from 2020 — to a total of 3,527 beds. The number of permanent supportive housing units has risen 30 percent, an increase of 1,001 units.

An easing of rents and the availability of apartments. Bates noted that the average apartment vacancy rate rose by 58% since 2022, with rents dipping by 3%.

The new Coordinated Access System funded by the City and County and run by Sacramento Steps Forward provides a centralized access point for shelter, housing and homelessness prevention services.

To read the full 2024 Point-In-Time Count report and view infographics, go to