Following the Sacramento City Council’s recent approval of its comprehensive siting plan to address homelessness, City staff on Tuesday outlined the initial steps for implementation.
Speaking at the Aug. 17 Council meeting, Public Works Director Ryan Moore said his department — in coordination with the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA), the City’s Department of Community Response, the Department of Community Development and the Sacramento Fire Department — has been evaluating the plan’s 20 approved sites with an eye toward jumping “right into implementation.”
City staff has organized implementation into three phases. Phase 1 focuses on sites controlled by the City or by other local agencies. Phase 2 involves sites controlled by state and federal government, which will require regulatory approval. Phase 3 centers on privately owned sites that the City will work to obtain either through lease or purchase.
Moore’s presentation on Tuesday outlined initial aspects of phase 1, identifying six sites with “the highest probability of near-term implementation.” Those sites are:
- Rosin Court (in District 3)
- Eleanor Yard (in District 2)
- Colfax Yard (in District 2)
- Lexington (District 2)
- Larchwood (District 3)
- North 5th Street (District 3)
The first location likely to begin serving unsheltered residents will be the Eleanor site, at the corner of Eleanor and Traction avenues in north Sacramento. The City plans to place 26 sleeping cabins at the site, which will shelter 52 people. The project will be similar to the City’s cabin community at Grove Avenue, which serves transitional-age youth experiencing homelessness.
Design and site preparation for the Eleanor site, which is owned by the City, is expected to take approximately 90 days, Moore said.
Another site that could be activated quickly is North 5th, which current hosts a 100-bed shelter. The City plans to increase capacity on space at that established site, said Bridgette Dean, director of the Department of Community Response.
“We met with the team that operates that site,” Dean said. “(It) could be doubled to 200 beds fairly quickly with around a six-week window once the supplemental contract is signed and approved by Council.”
Implementation on the six sites will take varying amounts of time, depending on the specific project requirements and challenges presented by the site preparation, Moore said. Rosin Court, for example, is owned by Reclamation District 1000, and the City will need to obtain access before launching a safe parking project there.
At full capacity, the six sites may serve up to 700 people a year, officials said.
Responding to questions from the Council about why the six sites are only in Districts 2 and 3, City Manager Howard Chan said: “We’re looking at it purely from a readiness perspective.”
Implementation on the sites is dependent on ongoing evaluations, and all plans are subject to change, officials said.
The comprehensive siting plan, approved by the City Council on Aug. 10, designates 20 priority sites across the city for transitional housing, congregate shelters, sleeping-cabin communities, organized campgrounds and safe parking. Each of the temporary housing options will offer services designed to help people find permanent housing and exit homelessness.