August 2019 Newsletter

Dear Friend,

The growing breakfast line in Friendship Park tells us just how much homelessness has increased in Sacramento.

The recently released results of January’s 2019 Point-in-Time count, a two-night count of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness, was sobering to say the least. The results confirmed what we have observed firsthand here at Loaves & Fishes – more and more people are experiencing homelessness in our community. Sacramento saw a 19 percent increase in overall homelessness since 2017. More than two thirds of those experiencing homelessness are unable to find room in a shelter, and are forced to sleep outside. Homelessness increased for veterans, more adults over 65 are homeless than ever before, and the number of families experiencing homelessness doubled. It is hard to look at these results without feeling completely overwhelmed.

The count also confirmed that 93 percent of people surveyed in Sacramento are from Sacramento. This last piece is critical for us to remember. Homelessness is not something threatening our community from elsewhere; it is our own neighbors who are falling on hard times, or falling prey to our housing market’s massive shortcomings, and are forced to sleep without a roof over their heads.

In response the City of Sacramento, Sacramento County, and State of California are all allocating funds to aid the men, women, and children experiencing homelessness. I’m not sure that we have ever seen this large-scale or coordinated an effort to help our communities address homelessness now and prevent homelessness in the future. Building the housing, shelters, and services that our homeless brothers and sisters need to succeed will take time, but is necessary to end homelessness in California.

Loaves & Fishes exists to help our guests meet their needs, from survival and safety to belonging and self-esteem.

Until that hopeful day comes, Loaves & Fishes will support the survival needs of every guest who comes to us – and we need your help to do it. Many of our guests have no place else to get nutritious food, showers, resources and supplies, mental health and legal counseling, or the steadiness of staff and volunteers who know them by name. We do not accept any government funding, so your donations provide immediate, life-saving relief for nearly one thousand men, women, and children every single day.

One of our guests, Sara, relies on these services that your support makes possible. Sara is a regular guest at our Maryhouse drop-in day shelter for women and families, and has come to trust that our staff and volunteers will always be there for her. She often asks about our staff and volunteers’ days, and is quick to offer a compliment or blessing to anyone passing by her. “Thank you for everything,” I overheard her say recently. “I don’t think I could make it out there without Loaves.”

You can make a profound difference in our guests’ lives, and you can do it in a number of ways. Our community needs your voice to advocate for policy changes. Our sixteen survival service programs need your time and talents to volunteer. Most importantly, our guests need your financial support so our programs can meet their most urgent survival needs.

Thank you for your support, and for making such a profound difference in the lives of others in need.

Gratefully and sincerely,

Noel Kammermann
Executive Director

   

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Street Address:
1351 North C. St.
Sacramento, CA 95811

PO Box 13495
Sacramento, CA 95813

Phone: 916-446-0874
Fax: 916-446-0875

Email: info@sacloaves.org

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