By Mike Hazlip—
A local organization is stepping up to help the community in the ongoing wake of the closure of Sacramento Self Help Housing (SSHH).
Related: Citrus Heights homeless navigator in limbo after nonprofit closure
Citrus Heights Rotary Club is stepping in after selecting the Citrus Heights Homeless Assistance Resource Team (HART) as this year’s fund-a-need recipient. As a result, the club gave $10,000 to HART during their May 10 meeting.
Club President Mark Duncan told The Sentinel in an email Wednesday he hopes the money will give the organization some hope.
HART Board Chair Irene Hronicek told The Sentinel the money was earmarked for a rental assistance program that aims to prevent homelessness by helping individuals pay back rent and freeing up their income for other necessities such as vehicle repairs.
“Rotary has been supportive for many, many years with HART,” Hronicek said. “They’ve helped through the years with volunteers and donations.”
While HART plans to continue their efforts to offer assistance and distribute food to people experiencing homelessness, the future of homeless navigators Gabriella Yost and Yvette Horst remains in question.
Sacramento County announced in a March 29 release that it would not renew contracts with Sacramento Self Help Housing (SSHH) due to what the county said was “significant financial issues at SSHH.” That move prompted the organization to announce it would be closing.
Just in Citrus Heights alone, there are 150 clients Yost is currently working with, and Citrus Heights HART has helped 42 individuals obtain transitional housing in the last four months, she said.
Yost is optimistic that another organization will be found to provide services, but has warned there could be a gap in assistance until a new contract is in place.
Hronicek said the city is reluctant to take on homeless services directly, preferring to contract with a nonprofit organization.
In a May 5 email to The Sentinel, city spokeswoman Meghan Huber said Citrus Heights is actively seeking ways to continue the navigator program.