The first batch of state-issued trailers, which will enable at-risk people to self-quarantine during the COVID-19 crisis, have arrived at Cal Expo. These trailers are part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s $150 million funding plan to protect vulnerable populations, including people experiencing homelessness, and mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
Approximately three dozen RV-style trailers have been placed at Cal Expo, with more arriving in the coming days. Sacramento is expected to receive a total of 63 trailers from the state, which also is leasing motels, hotels and other facilities in partnership with counties and cities to provide immediate isolation placement and housing options for people in need.
“These trailers will start getting our most vulnerable Sacramentans out of the elements and help prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the homeless community and the city at large, said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “It’s only the start. We have many more beds to provide and more people to help.”
The State of California has procured 1,309 travel trailers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and private vendors to increase safe places where vulnerable people with or experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 can self-isolate. In addition to enhancing local shelter capacity, the trailers will help prevent people with the virus from spreading it to others.
The City of Sacramento will oversee the trailers, which range up to 36 feet in size. The City is in the final stages of hiring an on-site operator, who will coordinate with Sacramento County Department of Health Services to help meet the medical needs of clients. All trailers are equipped with their own bathrooms and showers, and all on-site employees will be trained on proper safety protocol and will be provided with personal protective equipment.
“These trailers are invaluable,” said Emily Halcon, homeless services manager for the City of Sacramento. “Not only do they protect some of Sacramento’s most vulnerable residents, they also protect our entire community by preventing the spread of COVID-19. We are grateful to the State for its definitive and immediate response, as well as to Cal Expo for its willingness to provide a site for this much-needed resource.”
“Cal Expo is proud to work collaboratively with the City and local health officials to provide temporary shelter to high-risk individuals in order to combat the spread of COVID-19 and protect our communities,” Rick Pickering, General Manager and CEO, California Exposition & State Fair. “We are a part of the broader community and consciously look for meaningful opportunities to be a resource in times of celebration, as well as emergency.”
The state-issued trailers play a key role in a larger sheltering-and-housing action plan developed by the Sacramento Homelessness COVID-19 Response Team task force, which includes the City of Sacramento, County of Sacramento, Sacramento Steps Forward and the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA). The response team is working closely with the State to identify resources to serve as many COVID-19-impacted individuals/families who are experiencing homelessness as possible.
The response team is finalizing the oversight and referral protocol for placement into the trailers. Criteria for placement will include level of need. The trailers are located within a fenced portion of Cal Expo, and there will be no walk-up access for the general public. Security will be provided 24/7. Officials said they expect to begin identifying and placing people in the trailers in the coming week.
“Having these trailers as a resource to shelter and isolate those experiencing homelessness that are vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus is important,” said Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye. “This is one of the critical steps we are taking to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 throughout the unsheltered population during this health crisis.”