Kaiser Permanente is investing in Sacramento in a new way. The health care provider recently announced a $32 million contribution to go towards homeless shelters and affordable housing in the State Capital.
Why is Kaiser Permanente Addressing Homelessness in Sacramento?
"When you think about housing and health, they are so interconnected," said Bechara Choucair, Kaiser's senior vice president and chief health officer. "We can’t expect people to live healthy lives if they don't have a stable roof over their heads."
Kaiser Permanente has pledged $5 million to the City's homeless Navigation Center shelters which will provide wrap-around services to help people stabilize their lives and make the move toward permanent housing.
Another $25 million will go to preserve and create affordable housing in the area.
Finally, Kaiser has committed $2 million to work with cities, counties and other key stakeholders to improve the regional system for addressing homelessness.
Extending Kaiser's investments into housing and homelessness initiatives is a "no brainer," said Choucair.
Homeless individuals have a mortality rate three to four times greater than the rest of the population, are likely to die 27 years earlier than the average person, and have health care costs that can be three to five times larger.
Kaiser's $25 million donation is part of its $200 million "Thriving Communities Fund" which launched in 2018 to take on housing instability and homelessness.
Kaiser Opening New Medical Center in The Railyards
Kaiser has shown a commitment to Sacramento and its community. In recent years, the health care provider established a Sports Medicine Center at the Golden 1 Center and a second location at the Downtown Commons Medical Offices on J Street. Its next investment is a new Medical Center slated to open in The Railyards in 2024.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg expressed his thanks at Kaiser's continued support for the community and the commitment to helping address homelessness in the region.
"The biggest challenge threatening Sacramento's ongoing renaissance is the growing number of people living outside in unsafe conditions combined with our severe shortage of affordable housing."