City reopens Library Galleria warming center in downtown Sacramento

The City of Sacramento, in partnership with the Sacramento Public Library, on Monday reopened the Library Galleria warming center (828 I St.) to support unsheltered residents.

Sacramento County Public Health previously had ordered the warming center to remain closed for 10 days, following positive COVID-19 test results from workers and a guest.

Open nightly from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m., the Library Galleria warming center is being operated by First Step Communities, which also runs the permanent Sacramento County shelter on North A Street in the River District and the Grove Avenue cabin community for transition-age youth in north Sacramento.

Following a recommendation from Sacramento County Public Health, the Library Galleria warming center will host a maximum of 35 guests per night.

First Step Executive Director Steve Watters said his staff is employing stringent protocols at the center to prevent the spread of COVID, including taking peoples’ temperature at the door, offering enhanced hygiene, making sure they have a mask and asking them a series of questions to rule out anyone who has symptoms. Guests will be spaced out by at least six feet.

The City Hall Parking Garage (1000 I St.) remains open nightly from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. to support people in vehicles as well as individuals on foot. The new warming center/safe parking site at Sacramento Capitol City Seventh-Day Adventist Church (6701 Lemon Hill Ave.) in south Sacramento also operates nightly, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. First Step Communities manages these operations as well, via a contract with the City.

The City at this time will not reopen its warming center at the Southside Park Pool House, having determined that the size of the facility was not optimal for the service being provided, officials said. City staff continues to work with stakeholders to identify and open additional sites as warming centers.

The City Council at its March 2 meeting is scheduled to discuss elements of the City’s ongoing homelessness response plan, including the City’s motel voucher program, which currently utilizes five motels with 353 rooms (multiple beds in rooms) to nightly shelter people experiencing homelessness.

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