A record-breaking 227 homeless people died last year in Sacramento.
The number comes from a new analysis of two databases based on Sacramento County coroner records. The Sacramento Bee created one, and the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness developed the second.
The Bee in January published a database of profiles homeless people who died last year. The new report from the coalition to end homelessness includes an additional 32 people, who are now added to The Bee’s database.
Eight people who were living outdoors froze to death of hypothermia — the highest number in a single year in two decades. Substance use contributed to about half of the deaths, according to the coalition to end homelessness. The second most common cause of death was an injury, such as being hit by vehicles and trains, at 20%.
Three homeless men died of respiratory arrest while infected with COVID-19, according to the report.
Among them was Jonnie “Rambo” McCatherine, 63, who was a fixture among those who lived along the American River and frequented Loaves and Fishes. Christopher Tidwell, 48, and Ron D. Samuels, 55, also died of COVID.