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5 things you need to know about the new homeless shelters proposed in Sacramento

Learn about the proposed homeless shelter site near Curtis Park

A grassy lot near Highway 99 between X Street and Broadway in Sacramento could be the next site for a large city-run homeless shelter under a proposal by Councilman Jay Schenirer in March 2019.
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A grassy lot near Highway 99 between X Street and Broadway in Sacramento could be the next site for a large city-run homeless shelter under a proposal by Councilman Jay Schenirer in March 2019.

Nearly four months after Mayor Darrell Steinberg asked all eight council members to find sites in their districts for new homeless shelters, two members have publicly proposed three potential sites.

The three shelters would all be 100-bed large tent-like structures modeled with the same services offered at the city’s Railroad Drive shelter in north Sacramento, where guests receive medical and mental health care, as well as help finding housing. Unlike most other shelters in the area, guests are not turned away for having drugs or alcohol in their systems, and can bring their pets, partners and possessions.

The City Council last month approved using $15.7 million in Measure U reserve funds to address homelessness, but has not yet voted on specific projects.

Here’s what we know so far about each of the three proposed shelter sites, and what will happen next.

Cal Expo

  • Cal Expo-owned site at the southern end of Ethan Way, across from the RV Park, proposed by Councilman Jeff Harris.
  • City Council could take its first step toward approving the shelter at its meeting at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
  • The city is negotiating a potential lease with Cal Expo, which the council will consider at a future meeting, city spokesman Tim Swanson said.
  • The shelter’s design, construction and operations would cost about $9.4 million for two years, funded by state funds and Measure U reserve funds, according to a city staff report.
  • Cal Expo currently uses the lot for vehicles and trailers to load and unload equipment and supplies during shows.

Florin light rail station

  • Northwest corner of underutilized parking lot at Florin light rail station, proposed by Councilman Jay Schenirer.
  • Needs approval from Sacramento Regional Transit District board, Federal Transit Administration and City Council.
  • Six of the Regional Transit board’s 11 members have raised concerns about the shelter during meetings, while five have expressed support. Sacramento County Supervisor Patrick Kennedy and Elk Grove City Councilman Pat Hume said they will vote against it.
  • To address community concerns, the shelter would be locked at night, Schenirer said at a meeting last week.
  • City staff is researching whether it is legal to screen for sex offenders, and if so, they will not be allowed into the shelter, Schenirer said.

X Street

  • Vacant grassy lot near where X Street runs into Alhambra Boulevard, near the edge of Curtis Park and Oak Park, proposed by Schenirer.
  • Caltrans, which owns the site, is in talks with city officials to allow the shelter to be built.
  • Schenirer wants City Council to vote to approve the shelter and the Florin shelter on April 23.
  • If approved, the site would be paved and the shelter would open in about a year.
  • Community meeting set for 6 p.m. Thursday at Sierra 2 Center for the Arts and Community, 2791 24th St.
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Theresa Clift covers Sacramento City Hall. Before joining The Bee in 2018, she worked as a local government reporter for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Daily Press in Virginia and the Wausau Daily Herald in Wisconsin. She grew up in Michigan and graduated from Central Michigan University.


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