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2014 End of Year Appeal
December 15, 2014
Dear Friend of Sacramento Self Help Housing,
This is the best: we moved a woman and her two young children out of her car and into transitional housing in October and now she has obtained employment; with some security deposit help, they will move into their own apartment for Christmas! On the other extreme and in addition, since July, we have directly assisted 443 local residents as the new operator of a tenant-landlord hotline intended to prevent evictions and homelessness in the unincorporated county. We have also assisted 55 in the City of Elk Grove, 109 in Citrus Heights and 99 in Rancho Cordova!
I am sure it is not news to you that, for many families and individuals, these days are the worst. Throughout our region, we are seeing people living on their streets where such a sight was never seen before, and many of us know people who are threatened with the loss of housing. On almost a daily basis, the media provides stories about illegal campers, homeless veterans, helpless senior and disabled people, and rising rents that drive out lower income tenants. In Sacramento County, the school districts recently reported that 11,924 children were without a permanent home for some period of time during the last school year.
Sacramento Self Help Housing (SSHH) is filling a critical niche in the “continuum of care” for Sacramento’s homeless and near-homeless population. Our work is directed to people who have fallen through safety nets and family supports by offering them compassion, support and practical help getting into safe and affordable places to live. Just in 2014, we have made great strides:
- 350 households have been assisted into permanent housing.
- 90% of our chronic homeless residents become self-sufficient.
- Our work housing 159 veterans in the last 18 months has garnered praise from the head of the United States Veterans Administration’s voucher program for how effectively we are working with landlords in moving men and women veterans off the street and into safe and affordable housing.
- We have increased our services in the unincorporated parts of Sacramento County and in the cities of Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova and Citrus Heights as those cities have sought our help with tenants facing the possible loss of their housing.
- In partnership with PATH, an Elk Grove homelessness service organization, we have operated the first local transitional housing for a year, and the success of that effort resulted in the City of Elk Grove funding a second transitional shelter we hope to open in April to better accommodate children and their parents. Sacramento Steps Forward just selected SSHH to begin a new program on January 1, 2015, providing temporary housing to 20 homeless persons at a time, with a priority for veterans and those who are most vulnerable, until more stable options are located.
All of these accomplishments are in addition to our “ordinary” day-to-day operations and assistance. We have continued to update each week the thousands of housing resource listings and rents on our website; our housing counselors have provided direct assistance to 2044 persons and households in 10 sites throughout the year; and we continue to provide permanent and temporary housing for 95 persons at any given time.
While we receive funding from government agencies for much of our operating budget, we rely on your assistance to ensure that our staff and programs can provide a full range of assistance for our homeless clients. Government funding is not only being reduced, but many of the necessary services are no longer eligible expenditures! We need to supplement that income in order to enhance our services and assist homeless or imminently homeless persons to obtain decent, safe and affordable housing and pursue self-sufficiency.
I urge you to make a year-end contribution to SSHH to support our mission and services. If you want to see what we are doing or donate on-line, visit our web site, sacselfhelp.org; or if I can provide you with any additional information please call me at (916) 341-0593 or- email me at email@example.com.
On behalf of our homeless friends,
John Foley, Executive Director