Homeless Triage Shelter to remain open during coldest winter months

The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to continue operation of the Homeless Triage Shelter, located on Railroad Drive in North Sacramento.

The Council approved funding to keep the large shelter open through the end of April, ensuring its residents have a place to sleep indoors during the coldest winter months.

“This is a good program, and I’m firmly in support (of it),” said Councilmember Jeff Harris, whose district houses the Triage Shelter.

The shelter, which opened last year, had been set to close Dec. 31. Most of the money to keep it open was given to the City by the UC Davis Medical Center, although a small percentage of general-fund money is being used as well.

The extension gives the City more time to identify new shelter sites across Sacramento, officials said. As part of his “8 x 100” plan, Mayor Darrell Steinberg has asked each Councilmember to locate places in his or her district to shelter at least 100 homeless people.

Councilmembers including Jay Schenirer and Steve Hansen have launched online surveys and other outreach programs to solicit location input from residents.

The Homeless Triage Shelter is part of the City’s innovative and comprehensive response to addressing homelessness in Sacramento. The shelter is considered “low barrier,” meaning it allows people to enter with their pets, partners and possessions. It also offers “wrap-around” services, including mental-health support and assistance connecting with programs such as Social Security, to help people transition into more permanent housing.

This shelter’s low-barrier approach has been successful in helping people who previously had been service resistant. The City plans to replicate the approach with its new shelters.

The Council recently voted to apply to two new State programs that will provide nearly $20 million to address local homelessness. The City is expected to begin accessing those funds — known as HEAP and CESH — in early 2019.

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