Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sacramento county announces 09-10 budget proposal: BAD news

The county released its "July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010" budget proposal and it is bad, bad news all around for homeless citizens.

Here, as best I can understand it, is what I've found:

Access to the pdf documents can be found here. The information is in two big volumes. Of most interest -- I think -- is the funding information in Section G in the second volume.

On page 198 (of 245) in Section G "HUMAN ASSISTANCE - AID PAYMENTS 8700000" we are told that the county is funding only $8,710,289 of $16,473,571 that was requested.

The Additional Information section reads as follows [emphases, mine]:
DHA has made the following reductions to its funded appropriations: Eliminate Bannon St. Aid-In-Kind (AIK) Shelter - 62 beds at a cost of $548,813; Eliminate North A Street AIK Shelter - 60 beds at a cost of $551,070; implement self-declaration of employability - estimated savings of $1,957,379; Require disabled clients to apply for Supplemental Security Income within two weeks - estimated savings of $438,550; Match 4 percent CalWORKs grant reduction - estimated savings of $622,012; Implement citizenship verification - estimated savings of $451,768; Centralize operations to the 28th St. location - estimated savings of $513,160; Timely discontinuance of cases - estimated savings of $41,200; Even with these reductions, unfunded expenditures in the amount indicated will remain. The loss of jobs and foreclosures have directly impacted GA caseloads, which have risen by 24 percent between January 2008 and January 2009. The GA program offers three months of aid for those clients deemed to be employable and has no time-limit for those clients deemed to be non-employable. The County's GA benefit levels are among the lowest statewide.
Thus, the budget proposal calls for complete elimination of funding for the VOA shelters on A Street and on Bannon Street. The shelters had 122 beds during this time of year; they [62+60=122] are fully eliminated for the year.

Winter shelter, for the 2009-2010 winter, is not even mentioned. We have to suppose that covering the expense for that shelter was not considered AT ALL.

It is unclear to me what effects there are to GA [General Assistance], a program that pays ~$271/month [before reductions for transit pass ($25/mo) and medical services ($40/mo)] for three months to county citizens with no income whatever and few assets. But it is perhaps the case that those who declare themselves to be employable will not get county assistance in the coming fiscal year.

Basically, the county gutted everything it could touch.

On page 199 (of 245) in Section G "HUMAN ASSISTANCE - AID PAYMENTS 8700000" we are told that the county is funding NOTHING of $382,380 that was requested.

This section relates to subsidised bus passes for individuals receiving GA. The county has chosen not to fund the subsidy, even as the county recognizes this is "likely" to result in a lawsuit between the county and Regional Transit.

Last year, persons receiving GA paid $25 for a monthly transit pass. On top of that, the county would put in $5 to buy the monthly passes at a steep discount. With the county, now, declining to pay its $5, the effect on the discounted-pass program is unknown. Perhaps, people collecting GA will pay $5 more for their pass.

The first hearing re the budget proposal will take place in the chambers of the county Board of Supervisors at 2pm on June 9, at 700 H. St., Sacramento.

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Blogger Peta-de-Aztlan said...

It looks like there will be a lot more sadness and suffering to be endured by Sacramento's homeless population come Independence Day on July 4th. All negative social indicators will rise! The ones with the less political clout are the first one to be clobbered!

June 7, 2009 at 5:51 AM  

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