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Senator Ashby Releases Statement on Sacramento's Homeless Point in Time Count

For Immediate Release: June 5, 2024

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SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, Senator Angelique Ashby (D-Sacramento) released a statement regarding Sacramento’s homeless point in time count results. Sacramento County reports a 40.4% reduction in unsheltered individuals, and a 28.7% decrease in individuals experiencing homelessness. The report also states that the countywide unsheltered homelessness rate for families has dropped to 3.3%: 


“This year’s Point in Time Count Report reflects the hard work of the City and County of Sacramento to reduce the rate of homelessness across our region,” said Senator Ashby. “The outcomes in the report show that there have been great improvements. I want to congratulate Mayor Steinberg for his efforts alongside the City Council (both past and present) and the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors (both past and present) for their ongoing commitments to reduce unsheltered homelessness. These numbers reflect a focused effort that in turn created positive results for vulnerable populations.”


The report also reflects policy priorities that Senator Ashby (then Vice Mayor Ashby) championed, with 97% of homeless families now sheltered. Homelessness rates in 2019 showed that 50% of families were unsheltered, and about 35% of families were unsheltered in 2022, that number in 2024 is now 3.3%. This reduction is the largest improvement across all categories.  


“The extraordinary improvement in percentages of families experiencing homelessness in our region is profoundly meaningful to me and represents a hard fought outcome rooted in a dedicated and focused approach to partnering with providers, investing in solutions that include services and relentlessly advocating for resources that serve families in need,” said Ashby. 


A few years ago, as the sole woman on the Sacramento City Council, then-Vice Mayor Ashby turned her focus to a subset of people experiencing homelessness—families with children, primarily women with children. In her time at City Hall, she spearheaded programs and initiatives to reduce the number of families who were homeless and unsheltered. 


“Women with children and families face unique circumstances that are often not accounted for,” said Ashby. “Finding ways to ensure that families can stay together, receive emergency shelter and wrap around services was paramount to getting these families off of the street.” 


In 2017, she was able to secure $2 million for the City of Refuge and Saint John’s Women’s Shelter to increase their capacity to provide temporary emergency shelter for women and children, complete with wrap around services, and transitional housing programs.


In February of 2019, she hosted a county wide Women’s Roundtable at the City of Refuge in Oak Park. During this Roundtable, service providers and agencies from across the region attended to discuss the unique challenges that women and families face while experiencing homelessness in Sacramento. 


Using the findings garnered from that roundtable, she published a report, the Womens Roundtable Addressing Homelessness Among Women and Children, that laid out ways to effectively reduce homelessness among women and children to a rate of “functional zero”—meaning zero families on our streets. Using the data and information she gained through this report, she held presentations on ways to provide service rich environments to support children and families who find themselves without shelter, utilizing emergency, transitional and permanent forms of housing. 


“I’ve had the honor of working with Senator Ashby over the past 11 years - forged together by our belief that children matter. Although our work has become public for eyes to see, it’s not where we began. Her calls at 1am as a Councilmember saying, ‘come with me this one needs help.’ Her walking an encampment to find a missing child. Her valuing the work of community leaders on the frontlines with eyes and ears that see what most don’t. This has been the fuel that pushes us into doing more and better today,” said Rachelle Ditmore, Co-Founder, City of Refuge Sacramento


Ashby led the charge with her colleagues to create an emergency housing providers program to provide immediate shelter and relief for families through emergency housing in Oak Park and Del Paso Heights. These programs also provide wrap around services, help patrons’ secure temporary and permanent housing, as well as meet medical, social, spiritual, and physical needs. 


“Angelique has long championed—and has literally put her career on the line for—the need to prioritize homeless women and children and to not put them in harm's way via a one-size-fits-all approach. She understands firsthand the benefit of and the need to surround single-mother-led families with the support and services they need to heal, grow, and prosper,” said Michele Steeb, Author and Former CEO, Saint John's Program for Real Change.


Ashby secured funding and a location within her council district—the first and at the time only within City of Sacramento limits—to focus solely on homeless families with children. This site, Vista Nueva in Natomas, serves more than 100 families, providing a service rich environment, stable housing, and utilizes a program where housing vouchers follow the family into their own apartments and homes—eliminating waiting times and administrative work. 


Vista Nueva, a Project Homekey site funded with millions of state dollars, is working. It’s the runaway winner when it comes to results, showing that by connecting our region’s incredible community partners together with an engaged school district, leadership from Sacramento Housing & Redevelopment Agency, and a welcoming community--lives can be changed. 


“The amount of time, effort and dedication that Senator Ashby expended into securing a site, working with service providers, identifying funding and building a comprehensive approach to addressing the complex needs of vulnerable families is the reason why Vista Nueva exists and is successful today,” said Howard Chan, Sacramento City Manager. “She was focused, and remains so today, on ensuring children are not living on the streets of our city. She relentlessly fought to make sure women and children, and families remained at the center of our efforts to address homelessness across the region.” 


Since being elected to the California State Senate in 2022, Senator Ashby has continued to fight for families and those vulnerable in our community. She has attacked California’s literacy rates head on with her bill, now state law—SB 321, the Youth Literacy Act, creating a partnership between libraries and public schools to ensure that all third graders in California have access to their local library. 


As a freshman legislator, Senator Ashby continued her work to make a better world for foster youth by creating Fostering Futures (SB 307, 2023)—making college debt-free for all foster youth and former foster youth in the State of California. This program not only covers tuition, but also food, housing and books. It seeks to ensure that if a foster child or youth does the hard work to get into college, they can continue their education free of obstacles that may deter their success. In this year’s Point in Time Report, one out of every four individuals experiencing homelessness shared that they had been placed in a foster or group home before the age of 18. 


This legislative session, Senator Ashby has introduced a package of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking bills aimed at helping another vulnerable population with services and supports. 


SB 963 – the Human Trafficking Prevention Act would ensure that acute care hospital emergency departments implement a trauma-informed program to identify victims of human trafficking and domestic violence, a crucial step to getting people who need a pathway out connected to lifesaving resources. 


SB 989- The Domestic Violence Related Deaths Act enhances investigation protocols for domestic violence-related deaths by requiring investigators to use evidence-based detection methods to identify potentially suspicious deaths and empowers immediate family members to request an inquiry into the deaths of their loved ones.


SB 1000- the Digital Safety Act  will create protections for victims of domestic violence by requiring companies to swiftly cut off an abuser’s online access to accounts or devices that are shared with the victim. This bill ensures that voices of domestic violence victims are taken seriously in the world of technology-ensuring California law continues to protect victims and survivors even as technology rapidly advances. 


These bills are currently progressing through the California Legislature, and have received bipartisan support. 


“My commitment to the people of Senate District 8 and ultimately the State of California, is to continue focusing on vulnerable populations—finding meaningful solutions that lead to life changing outcomes,” said Senator Ashby. ”I’m proud of the City and County and all of the partners who have worked so hard to gain ground on the difficult and persistent issues that cause homelessness. We have more work to do, and I look forward to the opportunity to do so.” 



About Senator Angelique V. Ashby

Senator Angelique V. Ashby represents Sacramento County. She is the first woman elected to represent the metropolitan area of Sacramento in the State Senate in more than 20 years. She was elected to the Sacramento City Council in 2010. She was the sole woman for more than half of her 12 year tenure and the only member in city history to serve as Vice Mayor or Mayor pro Tem for 8 years. She is a graduate of McGeorge School of Law, and earned her baccalaureate at the University of California at Davis. She and her husband Zac have three children and live in the City of Sacramento. 

For more information, visit Senator Ashby’s Website here or find her on Twitter at @SenatorAshby