Pandemic delays progress on shelter for homeless near Alhambra Boulevard

The COVID-19 pandemic has made progress more difficult on building a homeless shelter at a site between W and X streets near Alhambra Boulevard.

The shelter, intended to house up to 100 people temporarily, is now projected to open in the fall. Priority will be given to individuals living on the streets in the immediate vicinity of the shelter’s location. However, if the virus makes a comeback in the fall, as some experts have predicted, city officials say a shelter intended to house 100 people may not be feasible.

An additional obstacle is the $60 million hole in the city’s budget due to the loss of revenues caused by a crashing economy during the pandemic.

Councilmember Jay Schenirer continues to hold meetings to update interested parties on the city’s progress toward opening the shelter to get homeless people off nearby streets while also improving access to services, including finding permanent housing.

The city is responsible for shelter construction. Bids are being reviewed and the winning bidder will be selected soon. The Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency is requesting proposals from prospective operators.

The city is working with CalTrans to finalize a lease for the land. Federal Highway Administration approval is pending as well.

Plans call for the shelter to have beds for residents, while offering three meals a day and shower and laundry facilities.

The city will partner with community-based organizations including the Urban League to help residents get jobs, social services and permanent residences.

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