What is a GEM?

GEMs (Give Every Month) are people like you that want to help the homeless in their community by way of investing in the sustainability and expansion of SSHH's housing programs. Like diamonds, SSHH's programs were created and advanced by the pressure of the Sacramento Housing Crisis.

Why support SSHH?

You should support SSHH's housing programs because they are humane, cost-efficient, effective, and embrace the Housing First philosophy. Housing First is the idea that the best way to transition a recently homeless person off the street and into a life of permanent and sustainable housing is to start with providing a roof over their head and a safe place to sleep. Research shows homeless individuals and families are more receptive to life-changing case management services when they live in a home.


Where does my donation go?

Below is a photo of one of our program participants named Tyler. Tyler was homeless his entire life until he found his way into our housing program. After about a year of housing and services, he got his license, found a full-time job, and is now permanently housed. At 28 years old, he will be attending college to study art and theater.

For the cost of $25, $50, or $100 per month, you can help a community member like Tyler achieve a new life. With a donation of $25 per month ($300), you can pay the monthly electricity bill for someone like Tyler for an entire year. With a donation of $50 per month ($600) you can pay for one month's rent for a resident in our shared-living house. With a donation of $100 per month ($1,200), you are helping to pay 1/4th of the salary of one of our case managers. With a one time donation, you can make an immediate impact in the life of an unhoused individual or family in our community.

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COVID-19 has changed the way we live. Many organizations are reducing or adjusting the way they provide services. SSHH acknowledges the fact that the unhoused of our community are disproportionately affected by the economic and health-related impact of the pandemic, and is doing its best to maintain its service portfolio while also balancing the health and safety of its staff and partners. The following measures have been implemented, and it is our goal to keep us safe and healthy so we can continue to carry out our mission together.

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Laron, our front office manager, is asking you kindly to wear a mask when entering the SSHH office. 

What can you expect upon entering our facility?

  • Masks are to be worn at all times
  • Temperature checks will be taken at the entrance
  • Chairs are spaced 6ft or more apart
  • Plexiglass in the front office and conference room
  • Sanitize each area and room after appointments
  • PPE supplies are in designated areas

What are staff doing to stay safe and protect clients?

  • Each staff member are required to take temperature and record upon entry
  • Hand sanitizer stations are located in various areas
  • All workstations are cleaned daily
  • Health and Safety signs are posted throughout the office
  • The Majority of staff are working from home
  • Staff working in the office have staggered work schedules
  • No House visits are permitted at this time
  • We are utilizing phone conferences and emails for different forms of communication




John Foley, Executive Director, was asked why we collect rent during this pandemic in our permanent supportive housing (PSH) program. Here is his response:

Sacramento Self Help Housing (SSHH) has a fundamental philosophy that all of our tenants should be treated with dignity, we uphold their rights and meet them where they are. The people that enter our PSH program are referred to us by a system that screens them for vulnerability and for the length of time they have been homeless. The PSH program is funded by federal funding through Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Grants. We house all of the people who are referred, regardless of the information that is received from the referral system as set up by HUD. PSH is a low barrier housing model (housing first) and it is our intention to continue to be a low barrier housing provider. When SSHH moves people indoors (many who have been on the street for a year or more), we recognize that they are coming to us with limited resources, and in some cases, diminished capacity. We provide our tenants a furnished home; and as tenants, they sign a lease, a lease that affords them all the rights, responsibilities, and protections of being a renter in the housing market. The amount of rent is established and monitored by HUD through regular reviews by the administrator of the HUD funding.

SSHH, working through the PSH program, is not only a care provider but is a landlord to the tenants who reside in the houses we lease. We master lease houses throughout the county for the PSH program. As tenants, our residents deserve to live in nice neighborhoods, in nice houses and have decent things. We sign leases with our participants so that when plumbing needs to be repaired, or carpets replaced they can call us and say, “we pay our rent, and we need to have these things fixed.” We want our tenants to know that not only will we address living conditions, but it is because they pay their rent that we are able to do so. Our tenants are tenants, they are no longer people who are homeless. They have homes with rental rights.

During the pandemic, we know that many people’s incomes have been affected. We have followed all of the guidelines set forth by the government in supporting people in their rent payment obligations. Just like every other tenant in California, our residents can fill out a hardship form and let us know how their income has been impacted. SSHH will consider and adjust rents according to what is allowable by HUD. If people have lost their income entirely, SSHH does not charge them rent - something that doesn’t happen in the traditional rental market. What we are asking for from our tenants is accountability. We ask for forms and income verifications as allowed by law. We never charge more than 30% of a person’s verifiable income for rent. PSH is not charity. PSH is not an emergency shelter. PSH is a housing model that helps to prevent chronic homelessness by offering affordable housing to people who would otherwise not be able to afford to be in the housing market at all.

ATTENTION: SSHH and the Renters Helpline is Partnering with the TPP Program to provide resources to Tenants and Landlords in the City of Sacramento. On March 30th  at 1:30 p.m the City will explain how the TPP program supports the rights of our renters. Register online at bit.ly/3qHoq1F or contact staff at (916) 808-8121 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sacramento Self Help Housing collaborates with Project SentinelLegal Services of Northern California (LSNC), and California Apartment Association (CAA) to provide telephone counseling and dispute resolution services for Unincorporated Sacramento County, City of Sacramento, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove, and Citrus Heights residents.

The Tenant Advisors will deal directly with concerns regarding landlord-tenant disputes and help refer fair housing issues to the appropriate agency.

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Renters Helpline is open 8:30am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday: 916-389-7877

More information can be found on their website here: www.rentershelpline.org

Submit a housing concern here to contact Renters Helpline: www.rentershelpline.org/en/contact-us.html


New Tennat Protection Program - 3/2021

The Sacramento Self Help Housing is partnering with the City of Sacramento to assist with implementing the city’s Tenant Protection and Relief Act ordinance (Sacramento City Code 5.156) and AB COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020. SSHH will provide complaint referral and information service to City of Sacramento resident renters and rental housing owners to educate them on the Tenant Protection and Relief Act, provide options for dispute resolution, screen for possible violations and provide appropriate referrals. The collaborative partnership between the City and SSHH team will promote public awareness of ordinance, prohibit rent gouging, limit annual rent increases, and address other violations of the ordinance.

What is Fair Housing?

In April of 1968, just a week after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Congress passed the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA), which made it illegal to discriminate against people in the sale or rental of housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex and national origin. In 1988, the Fair Housing Amendments Act became law, adding protections based on disability and familial status.

Since 1963, California has also prohibited certain types of discrimination in housing. Today, these laws are known as the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Unruh Civil Rights Act. In addition to those characteristics listed under federal law, California bans housing discrimination based on marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, age, source of income and arbitrary characteristics.

The important thing to note about federal and state Fair Housing laws is that they only prohibit discrimination based on a protected characteristic. A bank can deny you a mortgage because you have poor credit, or a housing provider can refuse to rent to you because you are low-income, or have an eviction on your record. These things may not be fair, but they aren’t illegal. To violate the law, a housing provider must treat you differently because of a protected characteristic. For example, it would be a violation of the law if you were denied a mortgage because of race, or denied a rental unit because you have children. There must be a connection between the negative treatment and one of the listed characteristics.

SSHH Always Appreciates your generous donations that help achieve our mission!