Donate to Sacramento's winter shelter program

Find out more about Sacramento Steps Forward’s Give One Day campaign at

Donate to Sacramento Steps Forward's Give One Day campaign at

In 2010, Sacramento County pulled the plug on the annual Winter Shelter Program, which had provided overnight accommodations for homeless people at Cal Expo during the coldest months. This saved money; the Winter Shelter could cost up to $700,000 a season. Now, the county kicks in just $150,000 to pay for shelter beds for families. The rest of Sacramento’s homeless population is served through Sacramento Steps Forward, an umbrella organization that coordinates regional services for homeless residents—and it needs money to keep the Winter Sanctuary program going.

It’s worth asking why we are relying on fundraising to meet the needs of our most vulnerable citizens—a task that most of us would see as a legitimate purpose of government. That’s a discussion we ought to have, and we hope to start it soon.

In the meantime, it’s getting colder. The weather is already chilly at night, dipping into the 40s.

The Winter Sanctuary program has local churches taking turns to provide a hot meal and a safe, warm place to sleep for our homeless neighbors. In addition to funding this winter’s program, Steps Forward hopes to raise enough money to keep the program going year-round.

It’s asking us to donate the cost of one day’s housing in its Give One Day fundraiser. This will provide winter shelter for those people not included in the county-funded family program.

Visit and donate to the Give One Day campaign. Or, if you haven’t got money to give, volunteer to help.

Because it is getting colder.