City Council approves new sites and strategies for future homeless shelters

The Sacramento City Council this week unanimously approved a plan that prioritized two projects designed to help and rehouse people experiencing homelessness.

Emily Halcon, homeless services coordinator for the City of Sacramento, presented the plan with Christine Weichert, assistant director for Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, at Tuesday’s Council meeting.

Recognizing “the important role that shelters can play and should play in preventing and ending homelessness,” Halcon began her presentation by identifying $25.6 million that the City currently has available for homeless services from public funds, private funds and assistance from the State of California.

The City recently committed $14 million of those funds to projects including youth shelters, shelters for women/children, street cleaning and the  Ethan Way Rehousing Shelter. 

The Capital Park Hotel at 1125 Ninth St., Sacramento

The Council on Tuesday voted to use a portion of the remaining $11.6 million for a downtown shelter located in the Capitol Park Hotel.

SHRA will oversee operation of the 180-bed shelter, which is expected to launch as soon as this summer.

In addition to funding the Capitol Park project, the Council allocated money for four “scattered site shelters.” These shelters, located in single-family homes, are ideal for special populations (such as the elderly, LGBTQ, single women, etc.) They can be created quickly and closed when no longer needed.

The “scattered site” program will rely on community non-profits to lease homes, which will be located in different neighborhoods around the city.

According to the plan approved Tuesday, the City will prioritize new potential shelters in this order (should more funding become available):

1. South-area Rehousing Shelter (location TBD)

2. The Broadway/X Rehousing Shelter (located in North Oak Park near Curtis Park).

The soonest work could start on either of these potential sites (if they were approved by Council) would be more than a year away, officials said.

In a separate vote Tuesday, the City Council approved plans for a 12-bed shelter for LGBTQ youths, as well a new “Host Homes” pilot program with the LGBT Community Center, in which host families help house young people experiencing homelessness.

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