CoC Expands Access to 2-1-1, Community Resources

In collaboration with the Sacramento Continuum of Care (CoC), Sacramento Steps Forward (SSF) has launched a pilot project to expand the staffing of the 2-1-1 resource helpline and increase community-based resources to help people experiencing homelessness access services that may quickly help resolve their homelessness. 

Known as Rapid Access and Problem Solving (RAPS), this pilot builds on best practices of addressing homelessness early and increases our community’s ability to more quickly intervene in a person’s episode of homelessness. It has been initially funded for up to four years, with an option to evaluate and continue the program after the first year. 

After connecting with 2-1-1, people with low service needs can be  immediately assisted so that they can avoid entering the homeless response system altogether. People with moderate or high service needs will be connected to additional vulnerability assessments, which then helps determine the appropriate resources for their needs. 

“This project creates an expanded front door for people experiencing homelessness,” said SSF CEO Lisa Bates. “Thanks to one-time state funds, we are able to increase access to resources, and offer a critical lifeline for people who need immediate help to ensure better outcomes for our most vulnerable neighbors.”  

The Sacramento CoC has allocated $1.5 million in state funding to RAPS which introduces two major changes to the county’s network of resources:  

  • Support the creation of three new full-time care coordinator positions at 2-1-1, Sacramento’s main connection point to resources for people experiencing homelessness. This additional capacity will allow staff to complete client assessments immediately by phone, significantly reducing wait times for connections to services. 
  • Support four selected agencies to serve as access points to provide problem-solving and short-term housing-related financial assistance to existing clients and clients referred from 2-1-1. Through problem-solving, providers work with individuals or families to find ways to maintain their current housing or immediately identify safe alternatives. Short-term financial support could include rental assistance or a security deposit. 

Through a competitive process, we have selected four established agencies in our community to take on this problem-solving work: The Sacramento LGBTQ Community Center, South Sacramento Homeless Assistance Resource Team, Sacramento Self Help Housing, and WEAVE

These new partnerships and the CoC’s investment in diversion and access is a critical step towards enhancing our network of resources and driving system-wide change to reduce the number of people entering homelessness and expedite their returns to housing. 

Visit this webpage for more information about how people experiencing homelessness are connected to resources through the coordinated entry system.