What is HART?
HART (Homeless Assistance Resource Team) is a network of nonprofits dedicated to organizing passionate individuals in support of the local homeless population. Knowing that homelessness transcends municipal lines, SSHH organizes individuals, churches, small businesses, and partner agencies to garner resources for the homeless in communities like Elk Grove, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, and Midtown Sacramento. Though each HART group is their own independent 501(c)3 organization, all groups are founded on the principle that developing a community of support is the best way to assist those most vulnerable.
Where is HART?
Today, there are 9 HART groups in existence. Elk Grove, Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, Folsom, Carmichael, Arden Arcade, North Sacramento, South Sacramento, and Midtown. Each one of these HART groups is an independent organization working to identify local issues related to homelessness, while also proposing solutions and acting as a medium for community members to give back, and fight for the local vulnerable population.
Though each HART group is independent, many of the groups have similar goals to address the needs of their communities. Below are a few of these successes.
- Winter Shelter - 5 of the HART groups operate a rotating winter shelter during the coldest months of the year. Folsom, Elk Grove, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, and Rancho Cordova HARTs collectively house 200+ homeless individuals per night.
- Transitional Housing - Elk Grove, Carmichael, and Folsom operate transitional houses for homeless individuals and families. Each of these houses work with SSHH to transition the recently homeless onto a path of sustainable, safe, affordable, and permanent housing.
- Navigation Services - All of the HART groups work with SSHH’s homeless navigators to identify and house the local homeless. Many of the HART groups arm their navigators with bus passes and other supplies to aid in their outreach work.
- Respite Center - Midtown HART hosts a weekly respite center. The Respite Center is a place where homeless community members can warm up, get water, coffee, and a snack, and connect with service providers.
- Parking Lot Shelter (PLS) - North Sacramento HART provides a parking lot shelter for homeless community members sleeping in their cars. The PLS is a model adopted from Oakland and Los Angeles where community members have a safe space to park overnight and eat dinner and breakfast.
- Community Events - All of the HART have yearly networking and resource fairs to help the homeless in their communities. For example, Carmichael HART has a backpack donation drive, Citrus Heights hosts a Student Connect resource fair for homeless students in the San Juan Unified School District, and Folsom prepares meals and hygiene kits for those living on the street.
HART was started as a way to engage the local community and bring much-needed services to the suburban areas of Sacramento County. Today the need for these services transcends municipal lines. In 2019 HART expanded to Arden Arcade, North Sacramento, South Sacramento, and Midtown. In 2020, HART is expected to expand to Fair Oaks/Orangeville and West Sacramento.
I have a HART for the homeless, how do I get involved?