VOICES: River City, Episode 174: A czar’s master plan, for homelessness

Sacramento is finally moving forward on a vote to enact its $100 million master plan addressing homelessness, a move that could potentially help a good percentage of the estimated 11,000 people in Sacramento County who find themselves without housing over the course of a year (most of them live within city limits), with identified sites for shelter throughout the city. 

While this may seem like a local issue, the entire state of California is watching to see what Mayor Darrell Steinberg is willing to do in his city, and what that means for his plans as the state’s homelessness czar. Meanwhile, Steinberg is getting national attention for his crowing over a future “right to housing” policy, which is not necessarily related to Tuesday’s plan, but is certainly piquing the attention of concerned homeless advocates. 

On Sunday, councilmembers Katie Valenzuela (District 4) and Mai Vang (D8) co-published an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee stressing the importance of this plan. In it, they lightly admonish councilmembers Angelique Ashby (D1), Jeff Harris (D3) and Rick Jennings (D7) for dragging their feet on identifying potential sites in their district. 

One look at a graph outlining proposed and existing sites in each district will show you just how right Valenzuela and Vang are. 

For all Councilmember Angelique Ashby’s talk of helping women and children experiencing homelessness, she’s come up with precisely zero (0) sites and beds in the plan to date. 

It makes one wonder how much the state Senate hopeful would be willing to address California’s largest and most pressing issue from the Capitol, should she get the job. Even Eric Guerra of District 6–also running for the Senate seat–has come up with sites that could potentially shelter over 400 unhoused neighbors. 

Sacramento Loaves & Fishes came out with a statement citing concerns over CM Harris’s part of the plan

Meanwhile, the California Homeless Union, alongside affiliate Sacramento Homeless Union, has come out with a fiery condemnation of the homelessness master plan, calling it a “dangerous con job.”

Thanks for listening, defund the police and, as always: Twitter: @youknowkempa, @ShanNDSTevens, @Flojaune  

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Sacramentans can hear us on 103.1 KUTZ Tuesdays at 5 pm and again Wednesdays at 8 am.  

Also, if you require a transcript of our episodes, please reach out to info@voicesrivercity.com and we’ll make it happen.  

And thank you to Be Brave Bold Robot for the tunes.


VOICES: the podcast
Independent. Weird. Audio. The VOICES: River City podcast is here to talk all things Sacramento with the region's activists, artists and aardvarks.