What is First Step Communities?

In the last few years, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has established directives for a Housing First model as a top priority. The emphasis would be to place homeless people in permanent housing and to coordinate access for the services they need.

 

The First Step Communities (FSC) organization, along with other catalysts of this work such as Sacramento Steps Forward (SSF) and the Sacramento Continuum of Care (CoC), are in agreement with HUD's direction towards Housing First as the priority model. However, a troublesome gap persists in the ability to secure funding to produce sufficient and affordable permanent housing for the homeless population; 

The most chronically affected when it comes to accessing permanent housing programs, emergency shelters, and services are the homeless population. 

 

This vulnerable population is often unable to find the appropriate services needed. Here, at First Step Communities (FSC), we want to support these individuals. The overall mission of FSC is to provide interim housing and services to the most vulnerable homeless population. In doing so, FSC and its collaborative partners will help this targeted group as they move through the interim services provided.

 

The desired outcome is to prepare this population for rapid re-housing programs that align with a Housing First model and prioritize a successful transition to permanent homes.

The Sacramento Homeless Deaths Study: In the 2002-2013 and 2014 Update, authored by the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness (SRCEH), it underscores that un-sheltered homeless people die at the average rate of one per week, every week. These numbers have remained consistent for the past twelve years in the Sacramento region. This study has demonstrated that the mortality rate for homeless people in Sacramento is several times higher than the general population. Additionally, the SRCEH study has identified a lack of appropriate healthcare and mental health services available for the Sacramento homeless population. There is an urgent and well-documented gap in the need for safety, shelter, and treatment. 

FSC can help fill this existing gap, offering a much-needed and cost-effective solution. The approach will be based on a harm reduction model that looks to establish an interim community with relevant collaborative services. First Step Communities brings leadership and well-planned objectives to this task. In the effort to help end the cycle of homelessness for the Sacramento Region, FSC will begin to establish new resources that will help maximize the existing services already provided by the Sacramento Continuum of Care (CoC).

Building a village

First Step Communities proposes a public-private partnership program with local governments and Sacramento Steps Forward. The objective is to provide a solution to fill the gap between available permanent affordable housing units and the number of unsheltered homeless residing within Sacramento neighborhoods. FSC plans to sign a long-term lease on a city-owned parcel of land to develop the community. The construction of the community center for the site will include a number of amenities including a medical clinic administered by WellSpace Health. If, at a future date, it is deemed that shelter and residential services are no longer needed for the area, the community center and medical clinic would remain on the site and transferred to the city and local community for further use. All sleeping cabins are transportable and can be relocated at any point to another regional site where they are needed.

  • Community Size = 60-100

  • Interim Housing

  • Non-discriminatory/Housing First

  • Length of Stay 6-12 months

  • Community Security and Professional Security

  • Combined Administration:

  • Resident Council

  • First Step Communities Management

  • Professional Administration and Services

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Shelter
Shelter

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Homelessness
Homelessness

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What Community Leaders Are Saying

Dr. Bryant C. Wyatt, Pastor

“There was a question once asked, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?" I am convinced that First Step Communities along with other civic and religious organizations are uniting to help deal with the problem of homelessness in our community. Let’s work together and let our brothers and sisters know that we care for them. Let’s support First Step Communities. We have an opportunity to help end homelessness in our community.”