SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Children’s Home has kicked off its annual Holiday Giving Program, bringing the local community together during the holidays to serve children and families in need. Last year, our program provided gifts for 1,200 children, and the community adopted nearly 70 families, providing them with gifts, gift cards and everyday essentials. Once again this year we have 1,200 children participating; many of whom the gifts they receive through our program will be the only gifts they receive this year.

The holidays are a joyful time when we can give thanks for all that we have and give back to those in need. There are several ways for community members to get involved with the SCH Holiday Giving Program, which ends December 14.

Wish Stars and Ornaments: The classic yellow wish star includes three wishes from an SCH child. Community members are encouraged to shop for their child and return unwrapped gifts to the Sacramento Children’s Home at 2750 Sutterville Road in Sacramento. Financial contributions of $25, $50, $100 or more, as well as gift card donations help us ensure that all kids and families have their holiday wishes fulfilled and basic needs met. Some male youth in our Residential Program do not have family to spend the holidays with, so financial support specific to our snow trip enables us to send our residents on a snow trip to Mt. Shasta over the holidays.

Adopt-a-Family: Community members can also adopt an entire family this holiday season. The adoptees are families that participate in Sacramento Children’s Home programs such as the Family Resource Centers and the Counseling Center.

Volunteer Opportunities: Every year, we rely on community volunteers to help run our holiday donation site. Last year, about 200 volunteers provided nearly 100 hours of support, which included greeting donors, accepting gifts, registering gifts into our system, sorting, and wrapping.

Giving Tree Sites and Holiday Sponsors: Local businesses and schools participate by hosting Giving Tree sites with stars available to the public for pick up. Businesses and corporations also have the opportunity to sponsor an SCH Holiday Party for individual programs such as our Family Resource Centers and Crisis Nurseries to help strengthen families in our highest risk communities.

For more information about all of these options and important dates, please visit www.kidshome.org/holiday-giving.

The Sacramento Children’s Home was founded in 1867 and today it is the most comprehensive child and family service organization in Sacramento County serving more than 7,000 children and 4,300 families each year through a broad spectrum of residential, community-based, mental health and educational programs. Throughout its 151-year history, the Sacramento Children’s Home has been at the forefront of trauma-informed care and developing new ways to improve the outcomes of children and families. Through its multiple programs at six sites in the county, the Sacramento Children’s Home offers prevention, early intervention and treatment programs that are critical to strengthening families and stopping the generational cycle of child abuse and neglect. More information is available at www.kidshome.org

Source: Sacramento Children’s Home

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SMUD and D.R. Horton Agree to Build All-electric Homes

SMUD Special Release  |  2018-10-31

Electric utility aims to reduce greenhouse gases through “electrification”

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - SMUD and top national homebuilder D.R. Horton are teaming up to build 104 all-electric homes in two new neighborhoods. These “all-electric communities” – “Juniper,” which is planned to include 66 homes, and “Independence," which is anticipated to include 38 homes, are both located in North Natomas and will be priced for first-time homebuyers. The homes are included in the SMUD Smart Home program and are part of a broader electrification effort by SMUD, the first of its kind in the USA.

Groundbreaking for the subdivisions began earlier this summer. The model homes are completed, and the communities are open for sale. Construction will continue through 2019. If built as planned, SMUD will provide $466,000 in incentives to D.R. Horton for including appliances and equipment to make the homes all-electric. These include heat pump heating and cooling, heat pump water heating, and induction stoves—appliances that are typically more energy efficient and can deliver lower overall energy bills.

Heat pump water heaters can reduce electricity use by up to 60 percent compared to electric resistance water heaters. Instead of using electricity to create heat, heat pump water heaters use a refrigerant cycle to transfer heat from surrounding ambient air into the hot water tank. They also cool the area where they are located, usually in the garage. Induction stoves may cook 50 percent faster than electric resistance stoves, and often as fast as gas. They also use less energy than traditional electric stoves and offer digital control of the temperature, and they have no open flame. The absence of combustion in all-electric homes may result in greater occupant safety.

These homes will help community-owned SMUD meet its aggressive commitment to reach 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and surpass the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals of 80 percent by 2050.

These D.R. Horton homes are part of the SMUD Smart Home program, which offers incentives to builders and developers of up to $5,000 for new single-family homes, and up to $1,750 for new multifamily units, built to be all-electric. The homes must have all-electric appliances and mechanical systems—no gas line in the home, and no gas service at the property—in order to meet the minimum program participation requirements.

SMUD customers who own existing homes in the SMUD service territory can also qualify for up to $13,750 for existing homes that convert from gas to electricity. For example, owners of existing homes may receive up to a $4,500 incentive to replace an existing gas furnace by installing an electric heat pump space heater. A homeowner may receive up to a $3,000 rebate to switch out an existing gas water heater for an electric heat pump water heater.

There are also rebates available from SMUD for traditional efficiency measures such as duct sealing, insulation, and windows.

More information about SMUD’s all-electric conversion incentives and other energy-saving information is available at SMUD.org.

Source: SMUD Media

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Cooley Honors Homeless Assistance Teams

Office of Ken Cooley  |  2017-07-18

Assemblyman Ken Cooley and Karen Edwards of Rancho Cordova HART receiving the award. Photo courtesy Office of Ken Cooley.

Sacramento, CA (MPG) - Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) recently honored the Homeless Assistance Resource Teams (HART) of Citrus Heights and Rancho Cordova as the 8th Assembly District’s 2017 Nonprofit of the Year.

Each year, the California Legislature hosts the California Nonprofits Day Celebration to recognize nonprofit organizations that make significant contributions to their communities.

“I am delighted to select the HART organizations of Citrus Heights and Rancho Cordova as my nominee for this year’s Nonprofit of the Year,” said Cooley.  “The collaboration that HART displays by working with government, businesses, and the faith-based community, personifies an admirable paragon of charity and service.”

HART is a volunteer-run group of businesses, congregations, and individuals that serves as a resource for those facing extreme poverty and chronic instability by connecting people in need with local services. The HART philosophy is rooted in the idea that resources must be accessible in order to be utilized, and the homeless populations of Sacramento County face many barriers between services.  Open communication between local government, business owners, faith-based organizations, and passionate individuals fosters an atmosphere of collaboration and helps to bypass some of these major barriers to assist those in need of key services.

Assemblyman Ken Cooley represents the 8th Assembly District. The awards were presented on Wednesday, June 28.

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Area Homelessness on the Rise

Ben Avey | Director of Public Affairs, Sacramento Steps Forward  |  2017-07-10

Homelessness continues to grow in Sacramento County, report says. Photo by John Michael Kibrick, MPG

New Report Confirms Increase in Number of People Experiencing Homelessness

Sacramento, CA (MPG) - Despite housing 2,232 individuals and families who were experiencing homelessness in 2016, a new report commissioned by Sacramento Steps Forward and authored by Sacramento State’s Institute for Social Research confirms that homelessness has increased across Sacramento county in the past two years.

According to the report, titled “Homelessness in Sacramento County: Results from the 2017 Point-in-Time Count,” the total number of people experiencing homelessness has increased by 30 percent to 3,665 since 2015. Among people who are unsheltered, a subset of the total population who are living outdoors on the street, in tents, cars, or RVs, the number has increased by 85 percent to 2,052. Approximately 31% of people who are unsheltered are chronically homeless, meaning they have experienced prolonged bouts of homelessness and are disabled.

“This report provides a sobering confirmation of what we see in our neighborhoods every day,” said Ryan Loofbourrow, CEO of Sacramento Steps Forward. “It’s frustrating that we could not stop the rising tide of homelessness, but we hope this information will provide regional leaders with the empirical data they need to collaborate on innovative solutions.”

In addition to overall increases in homelessness, the report found a 50 percent increase in the number of homeless veterans since 2015, up to 469 people. The majority of these veterans are unsheltered. Veterans continue to make up approximately 13 percent of the total homeless population.  

Individuals who reported continuous homelessness tended to be substantially older and were often encountered in encampments near the American River Parkway, in contrast to younger people who were downtown. Older chronically homeless individuals – between 55 and 64 – were also more likely to report being a veteran or suffer from a disabling medical condition.

"This news affirms what is already evident to the people of Sacramento, the question is what are we going to do about it," said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. "We are going to implement the city's $64 million Whole Person Care grant together with our public housing resources to get 2,000 people off the streets as soon as possible. No excuses, no boundaries, action and results are all that matter."

There were drops in the numbers of families and transitional age youth who were found to be homeless, which is a testament to the work of homeless service providers, but these groups are traditionally hard to survey for this type of report so the findings may not accurately capture a true census of these communities.

The report cites the housing drought as a potential factor in the rise of homelessness and explains that the trend in Sacramento is consistent with other communities who have tight housing market conditions. The report also explains the potential impact of flooding on the American and Sacramento rivers and improved statistical methodologies.

The rise in homelessness between 2015 and 2017 in Sacramento County is consistent with similar increases recently reported across the state. At the time the report was written, Alameda County reported a 39 percent increase in homelessness, a 76 percent increase in Butte County, and a 23 percent increase in Los Angeles County.

"This report confirms what we all see with our own eyes: a shocking and unacceptable rise in the number of persons experiencing homelessness. We need to redouble our efforts to increase our stock of affordable housing so that everyone in Sacramento has a simple home of their own," said Joan Burke, who is Chair of Sacramento’s Homeless Continuum of Care Advisory Board and Director of Advocacy Loaves & Fishes

Sacramento Steps Forward commissioned this report as a part of its biennial point-in-time count, which is a county-wide census of people experiencing homelessness. It provides a snapshot of who is homeless on a single night. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Develop requires local communities to conduct this census every two years as a condition of receiving federal funding for their Homeless Continuum of Care, for which Sacramento Steps Forward is the lead agency.

The point-in-time count was conducted on January 25, 2017 by nearly 400 trained volunteers who fanned out across the county to count and survey people living on the street, in tents, cars, and RV’s, while a data team documented the number of people sleeping in emergency and transitional shelters.

The point-in-time count and this report were made possible thanks to funding from the County of Sacramento, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency.

Sacramento Steps Forward is a 501(c)(3) non-profit homeless service agency who, through collaboration, innovation, and service, is working to end homelessness in our region.

Founded in 1989, Sacramento State’s Institute for Social Research (ISR) is an interdisciplinary unit that harnesses the power of scientific research tools to address social problems. Their research and analysis expertise, learned through the hundreds of projects completed for government agencies, nonprofit organizations and the academic community, provides the region with actionable information that can inform key policies and decisions.

 

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Board Approves Homelessness Reduction Initiatives

Source: Sacramento County Media Department  |  2017-03-22

Some of the proposed system would simplify access to shelter entry and maximize bed utilization.

On March 21st, 2017, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved four initiatives to reduce homelessness with the intent to improve the family homelessness sheltering system; support the strategic use of transitional housing; establish a low-barrier Full Service Rehousing Shelter, and implement a new supportive Rehousing program that will employ intensive case management and Rehousing supports in conjunction with dedicated Public Housing Authority housing resources.

County Initiative #1, to Redesign Family Homelessness Response and Shelter System seeks to modify contracts to require family shelter to prioritize unsheltered families, establish low barrier requirements, mandate family acceptance of housing services and exit most families to permanent housing within 45 days. The proposed system would simplify access to shelter entry and maximize bed utilization.

With County Initiative #2, Preservation of Mather Community Campus (MCC) Residential and Employment Program, the County would provide replacement funding to continue transitional housing and employment programs at MCC for 183 single adults experiencing homelessness when HUD Continuum of Care funding sunsets on September 30, 2017.

With County Initiative #3, Full Service Rehousing Shelter, the primary purpose of the shelter is to serve those with the highest barriers to traditional services and shelter. Staff proposed that the County fund a local provider to open a 24-hour, low-barrier Full Service Rehousing Shelter designed to shelter and rapidly re-house persons who are difficult to serve in traditional shelters or services. Stable exit will be the primary objective of on-site case management.

County Initiative #4, Flexible Supportive Rehousing Program, would employ a “frequent utilizer” approach to targeting the highest cost users experiencing homelessness to identify eligible participants. The Program would provide a highly flexible solution, employing proactive engagement, “whatever it takes services”, and ongoing housing subsidies to engage and stably re-house the target population.

Today’s report to the Board provided implementation milestones and timeframes, essentially a “roadmap” to reduce homelessness. Comprehensive efforts to reduce homelessness have been augmented in the last year:

On October 18, 2016, the Board held a workshop on homelessness: “Homelessness Crisis Response: Investing in What Works.”

A second workshop was held on November 15, 2016, called “Increasing Permanent Housing Opportunities for Persons Experiencing Homelessness.”

On January 24, 2017, County staff presented a comprehensive package of strategic recommendations to improve outcomes for people experiencing homelessness.

On January 31, 2017, the Board of Supervisors and the Sacramento City Council held a joint workshop on homelessness.

On February 28, 2017, the County hosted a stakeholder meeting with approximately 60 persons in attendance representing 36 organizations to help shape the initiatives.

Department of Human Assistance Director, Ann Edwards, stated, “I am excited about the Board’s commitment to taking these steps to reduce homelessness in our community.”

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Help Homeless Children with Project 680

Source: City of Rancho Cordova  |  2017-03-03

Local homeless children need your help! Project 680, a grassroots organization led by local residents with the mission of supporting homeless students in Rancho Cordova, is kicking off its Spring Drive on Monday, March 6th to collect clothing and other necessities.

In 2008, a group of community members joined forces to hold a sock drive for the homeless youth in our area. After learning from Folsom Cordova Unified School District (FCUSD) that there were 680 homeless students in our community, Project 680 was born. Today, there are over 800 documented cases of homeless students in the Folsom Cordova Unified School District, as well as their 75 infant and toddler siblings.

“Homelessness is something that can affect everyone,” said Reveca Owens, Education Services Liaison for Homeless Students at FCUSD. “These children are lacking basic needs and by providing these necessities to them, we hope to not only uplift the children and work towards ending the issue of homelessness, but also propel them towards academic success.”

The Project 680 team works with FCUSD to determine what the students need, and this year the items needed most are new socks and underwear in all sizes. Hooded sweatshirts, full size hygiene products, and gift cards to local eateries, such as Subway and McDonald’s, will also be accepted for the high school students that are living in shelters.

“These students are in desperate need of our help,” said Mayor Donald Terry. “We cannot solve this problem overnight, but supporting local organizations like Project 680 will make a huge difference in the lives of these homeless youth.”

You can drop off your donations at Rancho Cordova City Hall, 2729 Prospect Park Drive, from March 6th through April 7th. Cash and check donations are also accepted. Checks can be made payable to Cordova Community Council, Project 680’s 501c3 sponsor, with “Project 680” in the memo. Visit www.fcproject680.org for more information.

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Advanced Home Health Awarded Home Care Accreditation

Source: Advanced Home Health  |  2017-03-02

Angela Sehr, Owner of Advanced Home Health is pleased to receive accreditation from The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation. 
--Photo courtesy of Advanced Home Health

Advanced Home Health, Inc. today announced it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Home Care Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective care.

Advanced Home Health, Inc. underwent a rigorous onsite survey. During the survey, compliance with home care standards reflecting key organization areas was evaluated, including the provision of care, treatment and services, emergency management, human resources, individual rights and responsibilities, and leadership. The accreditation process also provided Advanced Home Health, inc. with education and guidance to help staff continue to improve its home care program’s performance.

Established in 1988, The Joint Commission’s Home Care Accreditation Program supports the efforts of its accredited organizations to help deliver safe, high quality care and services. More than 6,000 home care programs currently maintain accreditation, awarded for a three-year period, from The Joint Commission.

“When individuals engage a home care provider they want to be sure that provider is capable of providing safe, quality care,” said Margherita Labson, RN, MS, executive director, Home Care Accreditation Program, The Joint Commission. “As the home care setting becomes increasingly popular, it is important that home care providers are able to demonstrate that they are capable of providing safe, high quality care. Accreditation by The Joint Commission serves as an indication that the organization has demonstrated compliance to these recognized standards of safe and quality care.”

Advanced Home Health, Inc. is pleased to receive accreditation from The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation,” added  Angela Sehr, RN “Staff from across our organization continue to work together to strengthen the continuum of care and to deliver and maintain optimal home care services for those in our community.”

The Joint Commission’s home care standards are developed in consultation with health care experts, home care providers and researchers, as well as industry experts, purchasers and consumers. The standards are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help organizations measure, assess and improve performance.

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.

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