Saturday, April 29, 2017

Will 15 to 20 churches provide night shelter for 15 to 20 homeless people?

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Loaf & Fish Director of Advocacy Joan Burke appeared on KCRA on ~ 4/27/17 to promote the idea of area churches, openly, providing night shelter to 15 to 20 homeless people. The hope is that 15 to 20 faith-based groups would do this, providing comfort to perhaps 200 people -- or, maybe an aggregate 300 people -- every night, year round.

I think that this idea is, sort of, the Steinberg-Burke back-up Plan C to have something/anything to show them having some success at extending available legal places for homeless people to sleep at night.

Now that it is officially spring, variations on concocted shelter space for the very-cold, rainy days have vanished. Thus, new (to Sacramento) ideas need to come into play. In recent days, Allan Warren's sheds-&-tents campground has been undermined due to a likely-insurmountable snag. The idea of tiny-houses at churches has come undone, too, if it was ever truly under consideration.

Steve Watters's First Step Pilgrimmage program is ongoing, so far as I know -- though, likely, with the warmer weather, there will be fewer nights when area churches will be making large floorspace areas available to his organization. [There are just 5 sleep nights scheduled for May.]

One obvious idea to aid homeless folk at night would be TO KEEP LOAVES & FISHES' ironically-named* Friendship Park open every night. This could provide sleeping space for perhaps 100 to 150 people (I'm guessing).

T'is true, t'is true that businesses proximate to the Loaves & Fishes compound would Freak Out should Friendship Park become an open-air shelter. But, maybe, the Warrens, Steinbergs and Burkes in the city could figure out a way to placate the business people and make everything work. After all, necessity sometimes is the Mother of Invention.

* I write "ironically-named" since the park closes early [or, I should say, it did when I was a regular at the Old Park, years ago.] and, that alone, is demonstrative of how unfriendly the park is to homeless folk.


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