City Opens 200-bed Winter Triage Shelter in North Sacramento

Shelter embraces housing first principles to quickly connect homeless with permanent housing.

Today Mayor Steinberg, Councilmembers Harris and Warren and representatives from the City of Sacramento, Volunteers of America (VOA), Sacramento Covered and the North Sacramento community gathered for to open the new Winter Triage Shelter in North Sacramento.

“This new Winter Triage Shelter represents a critical element of the system we are building to get thousands of people off the streets over the next three years,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

“Over the course of this winter, this shelter will serve hundreds of people, with an aggressive focus on providing supportive services and placing individuals into housing, so they can end their cycle of homelessness.”

Since taking office, Mayor Steinberg has focused on innovative solutions to bring services and housing to those most in need. While long term solutions are implemented, there is a need for additional emergency shelter capacity to ensure people can be safely sheltered and the impacts of homelessness on the community are lessened.

The new triage facility will serve as a low-barrier shelter – meaning no one will be turned away because they have a pet, possessions, prior dismissals from other programs, or behavioral health issues –  with capacity for up to 200 people at once.

The facility will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week from December 8, 2017 – March 31, 2018.

“The Winter Triage Shelter provides us with a unique opportunity to demonstrate that combining wrap around services with winter respite will be an effective way to move unhoused individuals into housing solutions,” said Councilmember Jeff Harris. “I am pleased to locate this shelter in District Three as it has experienced the most significant impacts from homelessness. However, I believe it will greatly benefit all of North Sacramento, Gardenland and Northgate as well and that we can manage this shelter so the impacts of homelessness on the surrounding communities will be reduced.”

“Today’s opening marks a significant step in helping reduce the impacts of homelessness in District Two,” said Councilmember Allen Warren.“We’re giving people the chance they need and we’re addressing the concerns of neighbors in a more meaningful way.”

Over the last several weeks, the Sacramento Police Department’s IMPACT Team and outreach partners from the City’s Pathways to Health and Home program (a.k.a. Whole Person Care) have worked together to identify 50 individuals from the community surrounding the triage shelter who will be given first access to the new facility.

VOA will work with the IMPACT Team and outreach partners to ramp up operations until the 200-bed capacity is reached. Access to the Winter Triage Shelter is by referral only. The IMPACT Team and outreach teams will identify people in need of shelter and arrange for intake and transportation. There are no walk-up referrals to the site.

VOA will operate the shelter and coordinate services (health care, housing options, case management, veterinarian, etc.) focused on determining the most appropriate next step for housing.  There will be restrooms and showers on site as well as access to laundry services. Guests will be provided three meals a day, as well as a variety of services and programming to encourage guests to stay on site and work towards housing, employment, or other individualized goals.

“Combining supportive services with a low-barrier emergency shelter is the first step in helping everyone in our community reach their full potential.  When this happens everyone benefits,” said Leo McFarland, Chief Executive Officer of VOA. “We are excited to partner with the city to ensure the new Winter Triage Shelter is a success and to help hundreds of individuals build the foundation they need to leave homelessness for good.”

Information on how to donate to or volunteer with the shelter is available.