On October 14th, 2015, we surveyed 336 of Loaves & Fishes’ guests so that we could better understand their circumstances. Our goal is to actively assess the needs of our guests and evaluate how effectively we are meeting those needs so we can better serve the most vulnerable men, women, and children in our community.
Participation in the survey was voluntary. It consisted of 20 questions. Our guests were individually interviewed by a score of volunteers as they left the Dining Room after lunch. Over 70% of those who ate lunch that day participated.
- We found that over half of our guests are aged 50 or older.
- A staggering 63% are sleeping outside without shelter.
- 53% reported psychiatric disabilities such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe anxiety or major depression.
The simple amenities that Loaves & fishes offers - warm coffee, free showers, a change of clothes, a nourishing lunch, access to phones, a sense of community, relationships with caring staff members and volunteers - are a lifeline for people experiencing homelessness.
We hope that sharing these results will deepen our community’s understanding of the dimensions of homelessness in Sacramento and embolden our community’s commitment to ending homelessness and the suffering it causes.