United Way Takes on Sacramento Housing Crisis

United Way California Capital Region is now directly addressing Sacramento’s housing crisis with the formation of its new Community Support Services department that will include housing navigation services through the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal program (CalAIM) for people on Medi-Cal who are unhoused or at risk of losing housing.

“Our local United Way has always focused on our community’s biggest needs, and currently the housing predicament we are in is so great that we know we have to do our part to help those impacted by rising rent costs and increased risks of being unhoused,” said Dr. Dawnté Early, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “We are investing in our families and utilizing this program as another tool in our box, ensuring those who are unhoused, or at risk of being unhoused, and on Medi-Cal, can get the help and resources they need to find or maintain housing.”

United Way’s housing navigation program works with local individuals and families currently unhoused or at risk of being unhoused to help them find housing, receive deposit assistance and sustain their housing. Through referrals, the program’s housing navigator works with each eligible client to identify barriers and housing needs, find housing options, assist in the application process, and obtain assistance for move-in costs such as security deposits, first and last month’s rent, utility deposits and medically necessary aids. Once suitable housing is determined, United Way works with newly housed clients to identify the root causes of them being unhoused or at risk of being unhoused, and then address their needs and goals to maintain stable housing, including health care, education, substance use treatment, financial literacy or counseling services.

“United Way is proud to enter this important space helping Sacramento residents embark on a path of sustainable housing,” Early said. “We understand that to eliminate poverty, education is key to building a stronger, healthier and more compassionate Capital Region. For kids to excel in school, they cannot be worried about where they are going to sleep at night. That’s why this investment in local families is important both in the fight to end this housing crisis and to build future opportunities for children to break the cycle of poverty.”

Housing navigation program participants must live in Sacramento County, be unhoused or at risk of losing housing, and be a Medi-Cal member with Health Net, Molina Healthcare or Anthem Blue Cross. For more information or to make a referral, visit https://www.yourlocalunitedway.org/our-work/invest-in-families/housing-navigation/.

Founded in 1923, United Way California Capital Region has been a transformative force in the Sacramento community for more than a century, serving Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. The local United Way’s Square One approach to ending poverty is grounded in a public health model and uses a threefold strategy to address community needs from birth and beyond: helping kids excel in school, investing in families and strengthening schools. At United Way’s core is the philosophy that families possess the blueprint for their success. United Way supplies books to young children, provides literacy tutoring, addresses housing and food security, leads the region’s largest tax preparation initiative and launched Sacramento’s first guaranteed income program. United Way works across diverse school districts, providing case management for foster youth and leading the Community Schools initiative in West Sacramento. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.YourLocalUnitedWay.org.