Kaiser Permanente is committing $32 million to help the Sacramento area address homelessness and housing insecurity. This announcement is the latest move by the nation’s largest nonprofit, integrated health system to alleviate the epidemic of homelessness across the communities it serves.
Sacramento County has the third-highest per capita homelessness rate in California, after San Francisco and Los Angeles counties. Homelessness in Sacramento has increased an estimated 19% since 2017, and 70% of those experiencing homelessness in Sacramento County are unsheltered — one of the highest such rates in California.
“Housing insecurity has a negative impact on health and will require an all-hands-on-deck approach to solving this problem,” said Greg Adams, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. “Our mission to improve the health of our members and their communities demands that Kaiser Permanente continues to lead, support, and catalyze others to address the public health issue of homelessness and housing insecurity.”
Working in collaboration with Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, county leaders, and other key stakeholders, Kaiser Permanente is implementing a strategic approach to:
- Invest up to $25 million to preserve and create affordable and supportive housing. The first installment of these funds will preserve 172 affordable housing units in 3 Section 8 properties in Sacramento and Rancho Cordova.
- Commit $2 million to leverage Kaiser Permanente’s national partnership with Community Solutions and its Built for Zero initiative to support systems change working with cities, counties, and other key stakeholders.
- Invest $5 million in operating costs to expand emergency shelter capacity in Sacramento. This is in addition to the $6 million previously given to address immediate needs of people experiencing homelessness in Sacramento.
Stepping Up for the Community
“Kaiser Permanente has stepped up big time for our community, and I thank them. The biggest challenge threatening Sacramento’s ongoing renaissance is the growing number of people living outside in unsafe conditions combined with our severe shortage of affordable housing,” said Steinberg. “Kaiser Permanente’s unprecedented contribution to our efforts will allow us to house hundreds of people in a service-rich environment where they can reclaim their lives and get help transitioning to permanent housing.”
The $25-million investment is part of Kaiser Permanente’s $200-million Thriving Communities Fund announced in 2018. The commitment will initially draw on existing funds Kaiser Permanente has created with Enterprise Community Partners to preserve and increase the number of affordable and supportive housing units available in Sacramento.
“We are excited to bring a multi-pronged approach to help ease housing insecurity in Sacramento, solving for the community’s most pressing needs,” said Bechara Choucair, MD, chief health officer for Kaiser Permanente. “In particular, the ability to preserve 172 units of affordable housing will allow hundreds of people and families to stay stably housed, boosting their ability to achieve and maintain good physical, mental, and social health.”
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.2 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.