City’s Outreach and Engagement Center played key role in sheltering people this winter

The City of Sacramento’s Outreach and Engagement Center played a key role in providing safe respite to unsheltered residents this winter, according to data provided by the Department of Community Response.

Between November 2022 and March 2023, the OEC (3615 Auburn Blvd.) was activated 92 times, providing 2,486 bed nights to unsheltered residents. In addition to the OEC, the City also regularly activated the North Fifth Street lobby as a weather respite center.

The OEC serves individuals and families experiencing homelessness in District 2, and during weather respite activations, can serve an additional 50 guests who need a safe space without generating additional costs to the City.

The County of Sacramento also regularly activated weather respite centers during what turned out to be an especially wet winter, including its Department of Human Assistance building on 28th Street as well as its Weather Respite Motel Sheltering program.

“With the new Partnership Agreement between the City and the County of Sacramento, we were able to work together to open various respite centers throughout Sacramento,” said Nick Golling, Homeless Services Manager for the Department of Community Response. “We look forward to continuing to strengthen our partnership with the County to better serve people experiencing homelessness in our community.”

Sacramento Regional Transit worked closely with the City and County this winter to provide free transportation to and from respite centers, which also increased usage.

“The City of Sacramento is thankful for the hard work of SacRT to transport our unhoused residents out of the harsh weather conditions to a safe space,” said Golling.

Opened in September 2022, the OEC provides overnight respite and daytime services to guests who are provided meals, showers, sleeping accommodations, case management, and referrals to services and shelters.

A number of weather respite guests engaged with program staff and became enrolled in the ongoing services to remain off the streets and engage in comprehensive service, Golling said.

The City of Sacramento remains committed to providing support to its most vulnerable residents by connecting them to all available services while working to protect the health and safety of our communities.