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Homeless Deaths on the Rise in Sacramento

Activists call for policy makers to curb deaths among Sacramento, California's homeless population.
January 12, 2017, 12pm PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Homeless Man
Robert Couse-Baker

The Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness has released a report on the growing problem of homeless deaths in the city. The group's executive director, Bob Erlenbusch, spoke with Next City about causes of this problem.  "Erlenbusch says the rise in deaths likely corresponds to a rise in Sacramento County’s total homeless population," Josh Cohen reports. Erlenbusch is also concerned about the causes of death in the population. "In 2015, homicide accounted for 6 percent of homeless deaths. Another 6 percent came from suicide," Cohen writes.

The Coalition doesn't simply seek to call attention to the problem, "The report offers a laundry list of policy solutions from diversifying funding sources for the city and county affordable housing trust funds to increasing funding for alcohol, drug and mental health treatment programs, to expanding the city’s nurse street outreach program, to providing free or reduced cost public transportation to homeless residents," according to Cohen. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg has also spoken about increasing housing stock for the homeless. "He hasn’t unveiled any specific policies yet, but is expected to this month," explains Cohen.

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Published on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 in Next City
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