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Sacramento May Soon Open Homeless Micro-Shelters


Micro-shelters for homeless people may soon be opening up throughout the city of Sacramento.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg wants to make it easier for churches and community groups to provide shelter for small groups of homeless people throughout the year. These micro-shelters would accommodate about 20 people each. Homeless advocates are praising the plan.

"It's just plain common sense. It's a way of letting us take care of our own," says Joan Burke with Loaves and Fishes.

Mayor Steinberg has asked his staff to look at changing city ordinances to relax or modify some requirements and report back in about a month.

Burke says, generally speaking, churches have been allowed to offer shelter because they're doing so out of religious belief.

"But for community-based organizations, this would give them clarity that they can go ahead and do this," says Burke.

Burke says it's good that the shelters would be spread throughout the city.

"Because we know people become homeless in all the different areas of Sacramento," says Burke. "So for instance, if somebody in Oak Park fell on hard times, hopefully there would be a neighborhood church that might help them get through that."

If the city moves ahead with the plan, the micro-shelters would accommodate up to 300 homeless people at faith and community based organizations throughout the city.

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