City could soon get $7.7 million to help its growing homeless population

The Sacramento City Council will vote Thursday on whether to declare an emergency shelter crisis, potentially unlocking millions of dollars in state funding as the city struggles to find shelter for its more than 1,000 homeless people.

A state law, signed in June, gives Sacramento and 10 other California cities the option to declare a shelter crisis to gain access to a portion of $553 million in state funds.

If the council approves the declaration, the city would receive about $7.7 million. The city would use the money to fund at least one new 200-bed triage shelter, extend shelter hours, and provide other services, a city staff report said.

Sacramento County, which last month declared a shelter crisis, will receive about $12.7 million, which will also be administered by Sacramento Steps Forward. The money will be used for 40 additional beds at scattered-site shelters, a program in lieu of jail for homeless people charged with low-level misdemeanors, and other initiatives.