Earlier this year, I proposed two temporary homeless shelter sites in District 5 – one at the Florin Road Regional Transit station parking lot, and the other in a Caltrans-owned lot on X Street near Alhambra Boulevard.
Since announcing those two sites, our office has held large community meetings and small neighborhood meetings, has spoken with more
than 400 neighbors, and has received hundreds of emails and phone calls about concerns not only for those who are experiencing homelessness on our streets, but also concerns about the impacts of people living without shelter in our neighborhoods.
Last month, City Council approved two sites – Capitol Park Hotel at Ninth and L streets downtown and the Ethan Way Re-Housing Shelter at Cal Expo which could make 280 more beds available by next winter. Other sites, including one in south Sacramento (not Florin), and the Broadway/X Street site were identified as suitable options for additional beds, but funding is contingent upon the upcoming state budget.
We are moving forward with the Broadway/X location. Part of the vote last month was to authorize city staff to conduct preliminary site analysis if additional funding becomes available. Another public vote by City Council is required to approve funding (when available) for the Broadway/X site.
Through our neighborhood outreach, concerns were identified related to community safety, especially because of proximity of schools and youth programs to the proposed sites.
In response to these concerns and to maintain open communication with neighbors, we established a community advisory committee for the proposed Broadway/X shelter, comprising neighbors and representatives from neighborhood associations, business organizations and owners, and the city.
The committee will meet monthly and on an as-needed basis to develop a good-neighbor policy between the city and the neighboring community, and learn about shelter operations, data related to police calls and services around the shelter, and any challenges that may arise.
I also met with schools and youth programs in the immediate area near the shelter – St. Hope, Sacramento High School, the Salvation Army, the Greater Sacramento Urban League, College Track, Teach for America, and American Legion High School – who also shared concerns and with whom we’ll work to address any issues or perceived issues related to a shelter between Broadway and X Street.
In the meantime, my office will continue to meet with constituents, the community advisory committee, and educators in the neighborhood to ensure that when funding becomes available, we will be prepared and have the support of the surrounding community.
For me and my office, continued communication between the city and constituents on the homeless crisis has been a top priority. We will continue to work to ensure that all constituent voices have been heard.
Jay Schenirer is the councilmember for District 5.