Collaborating Across Borders

The impact of homelessness on our community is vast: it affects our neighborhoods, businesses, healthcare providers, public safety workers, and government. Solving homelessness in our region will require a collaborative partnership that reaches beyond the traditional boundaries to engage government, business, philanthropy and other stakeholders in innovative ways.

Sacramento County

Sacramento County has a population of nearly 1.5 million people and a mix of rural, suburban, and urban living. Cities within Sacramento include the cities of Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Rancho Cordova, Isleton, and Galt.

From encampments along the American River Parkway to the urban unsheltered population, homelessness in Sacramento County takes many forms.


Sacramento County has the fifth highest number of individuals experiencing homelessness of California’s 58 counties. In 2014/15, the County of Sacramento spent over $40 million on homeless services to help people respond to the crisis of homelessness and on managing the community impacts of homelessness.  Additional funding comes from the city of Sacramento, other cities within Sacramento County, state and federal grants, and business and private philanthropy.

According to the 2017 Sacramento County Point-In-Time Homeless Count, an estimated 3,665 individuals experience homelessness on any given night in Sacramento County. Before that, the biennial Point-In-Time Count for Sacramento County had fluctuated between 2,300 and 2,800 total individuals experiencing homelessness since 2009. The county has experienced an increase in the number of individuals and families who confront homelessness in recent years, with an accentuated increase in the number of individuals who are unsheltered and living outdoors. Different subpopulations of individuals experiencing homelessness include single adults, families, transition age youth (18-24), veterans, and the chronically homeless.


Sacramento Steps Forward (SSF) works with both the County and City of Sacramento to address homelessness in Sacramento County. SSF applies for, manages and distributes Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding to the amount of $19 million for homeless service providers through the Sacramento County Continuum of Care.

The SSF Resource Guide contains information on the available emergency shelter and service programs in Sacramento County (updated quarterly).

For much of the year, Sacramento Steps Forward also facilitates its annual rotating winter shelter for single adults, Winter Sanctuary. Made possible by the participation of Sacramento’s faith-based community and Sacramento County, Winter Sanctuary provides food and overnight shelter to more than 400 individuals experiencing homelessness over four months.

Getting to Zero Grants

As part of the Getting to Zero campaign, Sutter Health provided a total of $2,733,000 in matching grants to the City of Sacramento to expand services at the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope Emergency Shelter and to help keep the Sacramento Railroad Street Triage Shelter open in 2018.

For more information on the latest from Sacramento County, click here.