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New Center For Homeless Youth Opens In Downtown Sacramento

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Wind Youth Services says the center at the corner of 8th and S streets is twice the size of the old facility in Oak Park.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

There's a new center in Downtown Sacramento for homeless youth and young people in danger of becoming homeless.

Wind Youth Services said its center at the corner of 8th and S streets is twice the size of the old facility in Oak Park.

"We've got showers, we've got hot meals, respite, which is place to rest and recharge your body, laundry, art therapy, employment capability, financial workshops, case management, all kinds of things that young people need to move forward in their lives," said Suzi Dotson, executive director of the center.

The center will be open 7 a.m to 7 p.m. to anyone between the ages of 12 and 24 who requires help. There will also be a 24-hour emergency phone line.

“We will also have emergency services at this location, so young people will be able to call and we will be able to get them connected to our shelters any time day or night," Dotson said.

The center has an annual operating cost of $1.5 million. Golden 1 Credit Union is donating $1 million for operations over the next three years.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg said some of the money for the project, $250,000 per year, comes from voter-approved bonds, often called “Prop 63” funds. He authored the proposition while in the state legislature.

“It’s especially a tragedy when young people, 12, 13, 14, 15 year olds find themselves out on the street without any hope,” Steinberg said. “The Wind Youth Center help to provide not only hope to so many young people, but also the resources and the case management to actually get young people off the streets.”

Wind Youth Services said it helps about 2,500 young people each year. The old drop-in center in Oak Park will remain open as a 20-bed shelter.

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