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630 Fulton Ave., Sacramento

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Sacred Heart Parish School

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State of the art technology Fabulous extended care program

OPEN HOUSE JAN. 31, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 916.456.1576 • www.sacredheartschool.net 856 39th Street, Sacramento, CA 95816

Pastor, Rev. Msgr. Robert Walton

Principal, Theresa Sparks

these guys want to sit outside there with their dog and don’t want to go through any treatment or whatever, and they just want a couple meals a day, they can sleep out there. It’s a safe location. They can come and go as they please,” he says. Complementing the “campus park” would be a transformation campus, where homeless people with mental health problems or addictions can receive treatment—if they want it. Again, like Haven for Hope, this would mean a shelter and program where participants who “conform to some rules would get more intense treatment,” says Rushford. After ARPPS released its September proposal, Rushford learned that the city had sold the Army Depot. But he still believes Sacramento and its homeless population would benefit by having a single campus where homeless services are located. The proposal was not immediately well received by existing homeless services like Loaves & Fishes, but ARPPS wants to “float the idea and see if it sticks,” says Rushford. “Until we can deal with this problem responsibly, I think we’ve got to at least offer up some suggestions.” San Antonio’s Haven for Hope opened in 2010 and currently works with different agencies and services, 32 of which have physical presences on the campus. According to Allison Greer, an employee with one of its partnering programs, Haven for Hope also wasn’t immediately accepted by homeless services. “There was similar opposition in San Antonio, and some groups chose not to participate. Our mayor and

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chair/vice chair of this project just kept reiterating that San Antonio could do a better job servicing this population if services were consolidated in one location,” says Greer. Though it was an uphill battle to bring services under one roof, Greer says the program’s success has since made Haven for Hope a model for other cities. With so many moving parts (finding a location, gaining city approval and relocating existing agencies), it’s anybody’s guess if a single-stop campus could work here in Sacramento, let alone ever see the light of day. Some might even object that this proposal isn’t as concerned with resolving the underlying problems of homelessness as it is with simply removing the homeless from sight. It’s also important to consider that the city currently invests resources into existing agencies, and Sacramento Steps Forward’s Navigator Program is working directly with homeless people to place them into housing that is specific to their needs. That homelessness is a problem is beyond debate, though some may differ on the problem’s definition. But ARPPS’s proposal reminds all Sacramentans to continue striving for a solution. ARRPS’s call to action is also a reminder that our community’s natural heart belongs to all its members, even the homeless. In Rushford’s words, “taking care of the homeless is the issue, and we really want to do a good job at it.” Jordan Venema can be reached at jordan.venema@gmail.com n

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East sacramento jan 2016