Construction of W/X homeless shelter underway

After numerous delays and multiple revised start dates, construction of the W/X homeless shelter is underway with a target completion date of summer 2021.

The city approved construction of the shelter in November 2020 as part of its ongoing plan to handle the homeless crisis, but the Trump administration delayed completion of the lease between the city and Caltrans, which owns the land. Within a week of the inauguration of President Biden, Caltrans had approval to complete the lease of its land for the city’s use.

A homeless shelter building frame has been installed near the Broadway offramp of Highway 99. Photo/Dan Murphy

The shelter is modeled after the one that opened last year in Meadowview.

The W/X shelter will have two prefabricated semi-permanent buildings with aluminum interior arches and all-weather tension fabric stretched over the exterior. The shelter can house up to 100 individuals temporarily, depending on the need for spacing due to COVID-19. It will not only provide housing but also food, storage, laundry and showers, and will accommodate pets.

The site will include a 6,300-square-foot dormitory and a 4,500-square-foot dining/ administration building. Additionally, two converted shipping containers will be used for other services.

The Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Authority will select and oversee the shelter’s operator. A request for proposal will be issued in mid-March. The operator will be selected by mid-May.

The operator and the city will coordinate with programs assisting individuals with obtaining permanent housing and job readiness, as well as providing health and mental health services.

The city prefers that the operator work with community-based vendors when available for supplying food and other services needed to run the shelter.

Homeless individuals currently occupying adjacent sidewalks will have priority for this housing.

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