Sacramento city and county officials along with two churches plan to open walk-in warming centers starting Friday evening and into the weekend for people without shelter or heat, as another cold front descends on Northern California.
The city’s emergency shelters are located at:
- Sacramento City Hall Lobby, 915 I St., open Friday and Saturday nights (Dec. 17 and 18) from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
- The Hagginwood Community Center, at 3271 Marysville Blvd., in Del Paso Heights, open Friday and Saturday nights (Dec. 17 and 18) from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Both city-operated shelters will provide blankets, snacks, water and restrooms. The respite centers include covered outdoor space that can accommodate pets in kennels or crates, according to city officials.
The county centers are located at:
- Creekside Adult School, at 2641 Kent Dr., near Arden-Arcade, open Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night (Dec. 17, 18 and 19) from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
- Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance Annex, 1725 28th St., near Midtown, open Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night (Dec. 17, 18 and 19) from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
In partnership with Sacramento County, Regional Transit (RT) will provide buses for multiple trips for pick-up of passengers for the two county warming center locations starting at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Passenger pick-up locations will be at the following RT bus stops:
- Stockton Boulevard and Fruitridge Road
- Watt Avenue at Poplar Boulevard
- Ahern Street at North C Street
- Natomas Park Drive (near Garden Highway)
There will also be transportation back to these locations Sunday morning from the warming center locations. Pick-ups begin at 6 p.m. on Sunday as well.
People can call 211 for more information on buss routes, warming center locations, dates and times.
County officials advised protective face coverings will be required and provided to all visitors. They said pets are welcome, but must be on a leash or contained in an animal carrier at all times. Snacks and water will be provided at both locations, as well as cots for sleeping.
The church respite centers are located at:
- United Methodist Church, at 8986 Elk Grove Blvd, Elk Grove, open Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night (Dec. 17, 18 and 19) from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m
- Union Gospel Mission at 400 Bannon Street, in Sacramento’s River District, open tonight, Saturday night and Sunday night from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The National Weather Service expects overnight temperatures to be near or below freezing tonight and Saturday night.
Overnight low's are looking to be near or below freezing for much of our area. Be prepared for cold temperatures tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday morning. Here is a look at our low temperature forecast 🥶 #CAwx pic.twitter.com/xW8nyQ9EZo— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) December 17, 2021
Sacramento has several year-round shelters for homeless residents, but all 1,100 beds are currently full, city officials said.
The city refused to open any emergency warming centers earlier this week as unhoused people scrambled to stay dry and warm during a rainstorm. After backlash from advocates and internal push from the mayor, officials opened the City Hall lobby on the second night of the rainstorm.
Advocates for Sacramento’s homeless community have urged city and county leaders to open permanent respite centers and improve outreach about them.
The lack of shelter, advocates have said, is one reason for the increase in deaths among unhoused people in recent years. Drugs and alcohol, accidents, suicides and exposure to the cold, along with other causes, led to the deaths of 137 homeless people in Sacramento County last year, according to a report published by an advocacy group in September and based on coroner’s data.
Several cold and wet storms have hit Sacramento so far this month. Ten unhoused people died in the county from Dec. 1 through Dec. 16, according to preliminary information provided on Friday by Sacramento County Coroner Kimberly Gin.
Five were living outdoors at the time of their death and three in vehicles. Two died at hospitals. No determination had been made about the cause of deaths, the coroner said. She added that her office believes all 10 were unhoused, but “we sometimes find that the person was not actually homeless so these numbers are subject to change.”
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said this week plans for a year-round respite center are in the works, but did not specify when or where it would open.
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