Sutter Health Valley Area renews commitment to Placer County homeless


Published on January 08, 2019

The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved a $1 million contribution from Sutter Health Valley Area today to benefit the county’s Whole Person Care program in 2019. This is the second such investment made by Sutter Health to purchase permanent housing units and rental subsidies for participants in the Whole Person Care program who are experiencing homelessness and often grappling with complex medical and social challenges.

“Sutter’s support has been crucial to our success in housing more than 85 people so far, and their continued collaboration will help Whole Person Care make an even deeper impact,” said Placer County Health Officer Dr. Rob Oldham. “Placing homeless individuals can be challenging in our housing market, but we’ve been able to meet these challenges with creativity and collaborative relationships.”

Sutter Health has supported the Whole Person Care program since Placer County was selected by the California Department of Health Care Services in 2016 to participate in the pilot, which includes a match in federal dollars of up to $10 million over five years. The program is designed to bring multiple agencies together, including hospitals, federally qualified health centers, government and nonprofit service providers to coordinate and deliver services to meet the needs of high-risk, high-needs individuals, with a specific focus on persons who are experiencing homelessness.

“As a not-for-profit health system in Placer County, we are committed to improving access to care for the underserved, including not only our patients but all residents in the area,” said Brian Alexander, CEO of Sutter Roseville Medical Center. “Whole Person Care has facilitated unmatched partnership among government, hospitals and nonprofits in this region and we’ve been able to accomplish much more working together.”

Using Sutter Health’s initial $1 million contribution in 2016, Placer County was able to purchase two properties with a total of 14 bedrooms and provide permanent housing for 14 people at a time during the first year. This second investment will allow Placer County to obtain additional housing units to complement the mental health, substance abuse and supportive services provided through the Whole Person Care program.

To learn more about Whole Person Care, explore this in-depth podcast series  following the journeys of members and their case workers – including clients who have moved into the properties purchased with Sutter grant funding.

The grant from Sutter Health is part of the health system’s Getting to Zero strategy, a regional effort to end chronic homelessness in Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties by encouraging public and private sector collaboration on innovative housing projects. This year marks the final phase of the three-year campaign, during which Sutter Health has invested more than $5 million in four local jurisdictions to provide housing for over 1,000 individuals.    

“We strive to improve lives beyond the walls of our hospitals and care centers by addressing the whole health of each individual,” said Mitch Hanna, CEO of Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital. “We know that access to housing is a necessary component to improve an individual’s overall health, and our partnership with Placer County will help meet the community’s pressing need for more housing.”