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Addressing Homelessness in Rancho Cordova
On any given night in Sacramento County, it is estimated that approximately 3,665 people experience homelessness, according to non-profit organization, Sacramento Steps Forward. According to their 2015 Countywide Homeless Count Report, one-half of these people are unsheltered.
Within Rancho Cordova City limits, City staff estimate that there are approximately 200 individuals experiencing homelessness.
“What causes homelessness is typically the very common combination of factors, such as low income levels, evictions, substance abuse and/or mental illness challenges, and the shortage of affordable housing,” said Stefan Heisler, Reinvestment Analyst and the main point of contact for homelessness programs at the City of Rancho Cordova.
The complex problem of homelessness requires complex solutions, and the City is committed to taking a proactive approach to solving homelessness.
First, the City is working to complete Mather Veterans Village, the first facility of its kind in the region to provide permanent supportive homes for homeless and disabled veterans. Currently, Phase I of Mather Veterans Village is home to 50 formerly homeless and disabled veterans and their families. With the 2019 expected completion of Mather Veterans Village Phases II and III, another approximately 100 homeless and disabled veterans will be placed into transitional and permanent housing.
The City is also implementing the Homeless Outreach Team, a team consisting of its police and code enforcement departments, as well as its Homeless Navigator, that is designed to connect the homeless to housing and supportive services provided through regional partners, such as Sacramento County, Sacramento Steps Forward, the Rancho Cordova Homeless Assistance Resource Team (HART), the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, and other nonprofit organizations.
“The hiring of a full-time Homeless Outreach Navigator in late 2015 was an important move towards taking a more proactive approach towards solving homelessness in Rancho Cordova,” said City Manager Cyrus Abhar. “And the approach is working.”
The City’s Homeless Outreach Navigator, David Elliott, works directly with homeless individuals to connect them with housing and supportive services. He’s already helped place over 50 individuals in permanent housing and has helped dozens more individuals connect to resources, such as temporary housing, income and health care.
At the Monday, October 2nd Council meeting, Heisler presented the City’s Homeless Action Plan, a summary of key actions the City is taking this fiscal year to address homelessness, including updates on Mather Veterans Village, the City’s Homeless Navigator, and the new Homeless Outreach Team.
Abhar encourages residents to participate in efforts to solve homelessness by reporting issues to the City and by directing individuals to available resources.
- For volunteering, contact Rancho Cordova HART, the Homeless Assistance Resource Team, on their website at www.ranchocordovahart.org.
- If you encounter a homeless individual, contact the City's Homeless Outreach Navigator, David Elliott, at 916-846-3988, who can connect with these individuals and assist them towards housing and other services.
- When someone you think is homeless asks you for help, direct them to our Navigator above, or encourage them to call 211, the county’s resource phone number.
- If you see someone breaking the law or feel intimidated, call 911.
- If you have any questions or comments, contact Stefan Heisler at (916) 851-8757 or firstname.lastname@example.org.