The Sacramento Grand Jury released its 2015-2016 report and included in it was its review of the county's response to homelessness here. It found that homeless persons were living in "inhuman like conditions" and that after years of programs, the "problem has gotten only worse". It recommended delcaration of a "homelessness state of emergency" and also said that "criminalization of homelessness is not an effective solution. See full report starting on page 63.
Well, the 2016 Presidential campaign conventions are over. I listened to a lot of both the Republican and Democratic speakers. Amazingly, or maybe not, while I heard a lot about "children", "unemployment" and "opportunities", "disabilities", and similar issues, I never once heard the words "homelessness", "homeless children and families", "affordable housing", "safe and decent housing", or reducing barriers for persons with disabilities (except getting to attend school).
We hope that this is not a harbinger of the next 100 days--or next 4 years! Even people with jobs are homeless or at risk of homelessness! It now takes almost 80 hours a week at minimum wage to be able to afford (and keep) a basic rental unit! Our schools in Sacramento County identify over 12,000 homeless children annually during the 8-month school term (and don't consider the other 4 months, other family members, or nonreporters), but our programs are designed for the 2,200 counted on one cold night in January.
How do we bring a sense of reality to our political leaders?
A new report, "Hidden in Plain Sight", gives graphic information about the national plight of our school children and how many of them are homeless. A scary consideration is that this only covers children during the 8-month school year, not the other 4 months, pre-school children, drop-outs, and those who do not report. It's a crime that our next generation is being so abused.