New homeless shelter and service center for women opens in Meadowview

The Meadowview Navigation Center, sheltering and assisting women who are experiencing homelessness, officially opened Thursday and began serving clients.

Located near the Pannell Community Center on Meadowview Road in south Sacramento, the center is being managed by the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA), in partnership with the City of Sacramento.

“This shelter for women is another important piece in our comprehensive strategy to get thousands of people indoors through a combination of shelters, converted motels, tiny homes, scattered site housing and rental assistance,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg said. “We have to use every tool available to address the ongoing crisis of homelessness.”

In addition to providing people with a place to temporarily stay, the center helps clients stabilize their lives and transition into more permanent housing by offering medical, mental health, job training and rehousing services.

Operating 24 hours a day, the center was designed to serve 100 clients but currently will house 50 people to allow for proper physical distancing during the pandemic.

The new navigation center marks the City’s first use of “Sprung Structures” — large, prefabricated semi-permanent buildings that employ aluminum interior arches and special all-weather tension fabric stretched over the exterior.

Meadowview features two Sprung Structures. One offers 6,300 square feet of space and is being used as a dormitory. The second, at 4,470 square feet, is being used as a dining hall and office space. The center also utilizes shipping containers that have been converted into bathroom, shower and laundry facilities.

Clients are admitted to the center by referral only, meaning there won’t be lines or loitering outside of the structures, which are surrounded by secured fencing and set off from the street.

Volunteers of America is operating the center. VOA currently operates the Capitol Park Hotel temporary shelter and operated the City’s previous shelter on Railroad Drive.

Before the onset of the pandemic, the City had approved two new homeless navigation centers – Meadowview and one near the W/X Freeway, which is being developed.

Following the coronavirus outbreak, the City, the County of Sacramento, SHRA and Sacramento Steps Forward launched the Sacramento Homelessness COVID-19 Response Team, which secured hundreds of beds in motels and trailers to help vulnerable and at-risk residents.

Since April, the team has worked collaboratively to shelter more than 1,200 people as part of its joint response to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among people experiencing homelessness.

The City also has launched a “tiny home” program to provide interim housing for individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or are at-risk of homelessness and is using state funding to help purchase two motels that will be converted into housing.

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