City to open downtown warming center Monday evening to support unsheltered residents

On Monday, Jan. 25, the City of Sacramento — in coordination with Sacramento County Public Health and the Sacramento Public Library — will open a warming center downtown at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria (828 I St.)

The opening follows a National Weather Service forecast that indicates Monday’s nighttime temperatures will drop below 33 degrees.

The warming center will operate from 9 p.m. Monday, Jan. 25 to 6 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26, offering a place for people to get out of the cold.

“This is the second time this winter that the City has opened a warming center,” said Daniel Bowers, the City’s director of emergency management. “As stated previously, our goal is to provide people with a safe, comfortable place to be when nighttime temperatures are forecasted to reach 32 degrees or lower.”

Sacramento County Public Health previously worked with the City on the temperature thresholds for activating warming centers. The National Weather Service is forecasting that Tuesday’s nighttime temperature will be warmer, with an expected low of around 41 degrees.

In accordance with State and County public health orders, all attendees at the warming center are required to wear a mask or face covering to protect themselves and others against the spread of COVID-19 (unless they are sleeping). If an individual does not have a mask, one will be provided for them. Resting spaces will be set 12 feet apart from one another to ensure proper social distancing and will be separated by partitions.

To access the warming center, attendees should use the Galleria patio entrance located on 9th Street between I and J streets. Snacks and warm beverages will be provided.

In general, the City subscribes to the Sacramento region’s Severe Weather Guidance plan, which outlines specific temperatures and time periods required to open both warming and cooling centers. The plan was created by Sacramento County health officials, homeless advocates and the National Weather Service.

Temperatures this winter have not yet hit the thresholds specified by the plan for opening warming centers, which include weather forecasts of cold/freezing temperatures for more than three days, accompanied by night temperatures of 32 degrees or less.

However, Mayor Darrell Steinberg last month called on City staff to work with the County on developing alternative plans for opening warming centers this winter. The City previously opened a warming center at the Library Galleria on Dec. 29.

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