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Auburn's First Homeless Center Opens Tonight

Volunteers of America

Volunteers of America

A homeless shelter, funded entirely by private donations, is scheduled to open in Auburn Monday.

The site will provide shelter for approximate one-quarter of the city's known homeless.

Forty-seven beds will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis to Auburn's  homeless.  

The groups Volunteers of America and  Right Hand Auburn will operate the facility at the Dewitt Center, which is near medical and social services.

Leo McFarland is CEO of Volunteers of America of northern California and Nevada. He says the shelter is privately funded.

"Members who have supported this have raised over $100,000 just to do the physical rehab to the building in preparation for our opening tonight," says McFarland.

Kennels at the shelter will be available for as many as eight pets.

Farland is CEO of Volunteers of America of Northern California and Nevada.

"We have kennels on site, which is a first time for one of my shelters to have kennels involved," he says. "But we do here. It's going to be a real attraction for folks who otherwise could not get into a shelter."

Many homeless pet owners refuse to sleep in a shelter if their pets aren't allowed.

The World War II-era building was last used to house minimum security inmates from the Placer County Jail.

McFarland says operators are continuing to raise money to pay the $26,000 it will  cost each month to run the shelter.

The shelter will be open daily from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. and will serve dinner and breakfast.

The shelter has a 90-day operating permit.

In September, the Placer County Board of Supervisors will review the effects of the shelter on the community and will decide if the permit should be extended.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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