A new safe parking facility for 70 vehicles and 100 guests is poised to open in the coming months in the parking lot of the light rail station on Roseville Road after the City of Sacramento finalized an agreement with the Sacramento Regional Transit District.
The Roseville Road safe parking will be the latest such vehicle facility operated by the City, which also runs one on near Miller Park. Guests will be provided with food, water, bathrooms, showers and individual assessments and comprehensive case management to help them move toward more stable and sustainable housing.
Henry Li, general manager and CEO of the Sacramento Regional Transit District, said Mayor Darrell Steinberg reached out to him last summer about using the property, and he immediately agreed to work to obtain approval from the RT board.
It took some time to negotiate the particulars of the complicated arrangement, which also requires the approval of Caltrans, the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.
Li said he expects approval from the agencies in time for the facility to open in late summer.
“We are probably one of the very few transit agencies in the country that have been actively working with the local community to be an integral part of helping the region address the homelessness crisis,” Li said. “We really want to do something to help mitigate this situation.”
The service provider hired by the City to run the facility will contract for security on site. The RT board also adopted the City’s critical infrastructure ordinance, which allows it to establish a buffer zone of 25 feet around the facility where no camping will be permitted.
RT continues to work with the City on the potential to stand up additional safe parking sites in the parking lots of the Florin Road and Franklin Boulevard light rail stations.
More than a year ago, SacRT also created an in-house social service practitioner position and program to connect individuals living along SacRT’s right-of-way and transit facilities with regional services.
The program has won recognition for its innovative services and ability to be replicated. Ten spots at the Roseville Road safe parking site will be reserved for referrals from SacRT’s social service practitioner.
Speaking at a May 9 meeting of the RT board, Steinberg praised the efforts of the transit agency as “heroic” and thanked Li, City Manager Howard Chan, City Attorney Susana Alcala-Wood and staff of both agencies for working through the issues.
“The product is worth the wait in my opinion because it establishes an important precedent that you are us and we are you, even though we are separate governing bodies,” Steinberg said.