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Sacramento to open emergency shelter across the street from City Hall

Sacramento homeless residents react to second death in front of city hall

A man was found lying dead in front of Sacramento's old City Hall early Wednesday morning -- the second such death in a week that has figured rain, wind and low nighttime temperatures.
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A man was found lying dead in front of Sacramento's old City Hall early Wednesday morning -- the second such death in a week that has figured rain, wind and low nighttime temperatures.

The city of Sacramento plans to open an emergency shelter beginning Thursday night at a building it owns at 904 11th St., across the street from City Hall.

The decision was made at 5 p.m. Wednesday to convert the building, home to the city’s former information technology center, to shelter space for about 40 individuals. There are no beds in the building, but people will be allowed to spend the night.

Pillows and mats were being delivered to the site by late Thursday. Volunteers of America will run the shelter for the city.

Sacramento City Manager Howard Chan said the shelter will be open for three weeks and cost approximately $25,000. He said the city has received about $15,000 in donations to offset those costs. The shelter will be open from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. seven days a week, and will also have food available.

Wellspace Health has also agreed to send a street nurse to the area around City Hall daily to provide free medical care.

Chan said that starting soon homeless campers will no longer be able to sleep on City Hall grounds.

Sacramento Police bicycle officers will be sent out Thursday night to inform people about the opening. The action comes after two homeless men died on Sacramento City Hall grounds within a week, one on Wednesday and another Jan. 18.

After finishing his first State of the Downtown address on Wednesday, Mayor Darrell Steinberg said homelessness in the city was “a crisis” and called for immediate emergency shelters.

Anita Chabria: 916-321-1049, @chabriaa

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