The city of Sacramento's homeless triage shelter will stay open through at least mid-July, and there's a possibility more shelters will open next year throughout the city.
Unlike previous shelters, this shelter in North Sacramento has provided beds for people with pets and who are experiencing substance abuse issues. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg says it's worked so well that he’s asked the other council members to identify locations for a shelter in each of their districts.
“We can't have this continuing social condition with huge numbers on the streets,” Steinberg said, adding that he wants to take the success of the winter triage shelter and “multiply it times eight,” a reference to the remaining council districts in the city.
City Councilman Jay Schenirer says there are at least four possible locations for a shelter in his district.
“Homelessness is a city responsibility and we should solve it as a city, not just the north area or the south area," he said.
John Wesley is one of half-a-dozen homeless people who are sleeping outside City Hall. He says he volunteered at a shelter last year, but hadn’t heard about the triage shelter.
"I didn't know about they did it over there now,” Wesley said.
So far, Volunteers of America, which operates the shelter, has found temporary or permanent housing for 168 of the 619 people who have passed through.
The funding to extend the shelter comes from public and private sources. The final details are expected to be finalized within two weeks. UC Davis Medical Center provided the $433,546 required to keep the shelter open in the month of December.