In 2019, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) issued the California Emergency Solutions and Housing (CESH) 2019 fund, of which Sacramento Steps Forward (SSF) as the Administrative Entity for the Sacramento City and County Continuum of Care was eligible for and awarded $906,740. On October 7, 2019, HCD notified SSF of the award of the fund as follows:
- System Support: $680,070
- Develop or Update a CES: $181,352
- Administration: $45,338
Funded with CESH 2018 funds, three big bodies of local research, analyses, and recommendations have now been completed (coordinated entry evaluation, gaps analysis, and the racial equity action plan). The CESH 2019 funding presents an opportunity to invest in the infrastructure and staffing support needed to begin this work in earnest focusing on three core areas:
- Coordinated entry system improvements (aka CES redesign),
- Advancing racial equity goals, and
- Guiding data-led decision-making across the homeless response system.
Guided by recent CoC recommendations from the CES Evaluation and Racial Equity Action Plan, and approved by the Coordinated Entry Committee and CoC Board, SSF will be allocating the CESH 2019 funds to increase SSF staff capacity for CES, racial equity, lived experience coordinator, and associated data analytics work. Resources will also serve as a consistent means to stipend the people with lived experience supporting our board and committees. Finally, funding will provide an opportunity to engage the community with training on best practices and evidence-based skills.
In addition to the new proposed staff positions, we are recommending closer collaboration between the Racial Equity and CES committees. This relationship will culminate in a joint recommendation on appropriate approaches and goals to addressing the disproportionate amount of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) experiencing homelessness in our community. This statement could come as early as November and will be an important first step towards establishing a clear road map to reducing inequities within the homeless population.