Friday, October 2, 2009

Bee story provides news on effort to find homeless shelter for winter

A Bee story this morning, "Sacramento County homeless advocates race to find new winter shelter site" gives us some news on the effort by the city's/county's task force to pull together a shelter for chilly nights in late autumn and winter.

One important bit of news: The county will provide $138,000 in funding, the article tells us. Which is better than the nothing I thought they'd provide!

The story mentions 200 beds as the number of beds sought, which was the number of "Overflow" beds from mid-April to the end of last June, paid for by the city.  Earlier last winter, and in chilly-seasons before that, 150 beds had been funded (by the county).

Likely, with reduced funding, a shelter with 150 beds will be the goal for the coming late fall & winter.

The article mentions as possible shelter sites the Comprehensive Alcohol Treatment Center on North 5th near Richards Blvd., which will be available since its use as a detox center lost its funding for this year; and Mather Community Campus. The Mather campus had been in the news three days ago because county Supervisors had restored funding for the facility. [Possibly making the campus unavailable as a shelter!?] Cal Expo, the site used in the past, would be too expensive to use during these cash-strapped times. [Besides that, use of that site makes conditions like that of a jail. A shelter like VOA's Winter Overflow at Cal Expo would not be tolerated. A lawsuit would be filed.]

More funding for a shelter will be needed, and the task force is properly begging for more from any source. But the obvious source of additional funding is Loaves & Fishes, which is cash rich. [See SacHo blogpost from yesterday, "Gimme Shelter, Redux."]

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