On Thursday, January 30th, the South Sacramento Homeless Assistance Resource Team (HART) hosted an Open House donation drive and community outreach event. HART is a volunteer-based organization dedicated to creating programs to assist homeless individuals in the Sacramento area. At the event, volunteers and guest speakers discussed recent developments in homeless assistance community programs and resources.


“The good thing is that right now there are a lot of homeless programs in the community,” says South Sacramento HART Chairperson Fatemah Martinez. “What we are trying to do is bridge the gap between the individual and […] those resources.”


In addition to connecting homeless individuals to resources through public meetings and outreach events, South Sacramento HART offers public services for the homeless.


“Two of the goals of South Sac HART, [are] to replicate a parking lot shelter, like they have in North Sac [HART]”, says Sacramento Self-Help Housing Representative Ken Bennett, “and […] a day respite center, so in the morning people who are out homeless […] can come in and get coffee, and get refreshments, and get out of the cold, and also have services provided for them by different service providers here.”


Among other speakers was Rose Family Creative Empowerment Center representative Yolanda Stevenson, who discussed the center’s work with the Meadowview Black Child Legacy Campaign, an organization that connects parents and guardians with resources to prevent African American deaths.


“We are a community-driven movement that helps to reduce African-American child deaths in four focus areas: child abuse and neglect, third-party homicides, sleep-related deaths, and perinatal conditions, of which African Americans are dying 4 to 19 times higher than any ethnicity within the Sacramento county,” says Stevenson.


Representatives from the Sacramento chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign also attended the event and offered sign-ups for various volunteer roles within their organization ranging from social media volunteers to donation drive organizers.


“Most people, we’re just one paycheck away from being un-housed ourselves,” says Faith Wilson-Kennedy from the Sacramento Poor People’s Campaign, “So on behalf of the Sacramento Poor People’s Campaign, we are here.”


The next monthly Sacramento Poor People’s Campaign meeting takes place on Monday, February 17th from 6pm – 8pm at the Fruitridge Community Collaborative Building (Black Parallel School Board’s Office Room 5). Detailed meeting information can be found on the Sacramento Poor People’s Campaign Facebook page. The South Sacramento HART chapter meets next on Tuesday, February 11th from 6:30pm – 7:30pm at the South Sacramento Christian Center, and will continue to meet at the same time and location on the second Tuesday of every month. More information can be found on the South Sacramento HART Facebook page.