Homes for everyone

21st November 2014 - by Chris Saizan

Steve, the mayor of the Riverbank homeless encampment, stands with Karen, volunteer for Bridge to Housing Pilot Program

A home is more than a place to live.


A home is security, a house is belonging. A person feels more human when they have a home. Which is why I support the Yolo County “Bridge to Housing Pilot Program.”

I have lived in several cities that had high homeless populations. West Sacramento’s homeless population is estimated at 200, a very low number for a town of 50,000 people.

Although there are numerous programs to assist the homeless, there is usually no bridge to connect the programs with those who need it.

Typically, they have the option of a one-night stay in a shelter or setting up camp somewhere where they can keep their possessions and pets.Short-term shelters are not a way out of homelessness, and long-term camps are occasionally rousted by local law enforcement.

The Riverbank homeless encampment, where 71 residents and their 69 pets lived until the Bridge to Housing Pilot Program moved them to shelter.

The Yolo County Bridge to Housing Pilot Program changes that.

Last week, 100 local volunteers went into the largest homeless camp in West Sac and helped 71 men and women pack up their belongings and pets and moved them into a converted motel, where residents are allowed to stay for 90 to 120 days while they make arrangements for permanent housing.

Assistance programs at the motel provided health check-ups for residents and pets, took sign-ups for substance abuse programs and job counseling, helped them fill out forms for federal long-term housing, and signed people up for cell phone plans.

Flu shots and other services were on hand to assist the homeless with their needs

Maybe my favorite thing about this program is that there is a neighborhood clean up day, by request of the residents who have been helped, as a way of giving back to the community that has given them this assistance.

Links to more information here:

CBS coverage

Sacramento Bee article

Read more

Donate to the program

As a Realtor, I witness daily the difference that a house and a home makes in people’s lives. When I saw that our City was doing this program, it made me feel proud to live in a place where everyone is cared for. Everyone, and their pets.



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