Updated 6:17 p.m.
The wettest storm of this winter dropped more than an inch of rain across the Sacramento region so far this week. And with more on the horizon, the county is re-activating its motel sheltering program, and the city will open additional indoor respite options, as well.
The city of Sacramento announced Wednesday that it would expand capacity at its Outreach and Engagement Center — located at 3615 Auburn Boulevard — to provide respite for up to 50 people seeking shelter from wet weather on Thursday and Friday nights. The facility will be open from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. and walk-ups are accepted.
Sacramento Regional Transit will provide free rides to and from the Outreach and Engagement Center. Riders must tell transit operators that they are headed to the warming shelter for fares to be waived.
In the past, the city and county have said they would open winter shelters if cold weather conditions meet a certain criteria. Sacramento City Council voted this past March on its own guidelines, which include opening indoor respite centers if the forecast is rain for two or more consecutive days.
On Tuesday, the county announced it would re-launch its Weather Respite Motel Sheltering program, where trained staff connect with vulnerable and homeless people to refer them to motel rooms. The program will be open until Dec. 30, and the county says it will take advantage of all available rooms.
During storms in late November and early December, approximately 200 people were referred to motel shelter with vouchers, according to the county.
For the program, workers connect with people experiencing homelessness who are “unlikely to engage in any other programs,” according to Mott, and assist in reserving space at a motel. Those who accept the offer are able to bring partners, pets and some belongings.
The National Weather Service is predicting more precipitation as soon as Wednesday evening, continuing into Saturday and perhaps returning early next week. Officials with both the city and the county said they will monitor weather forecasts to determine if additional respite resources are needed.
This 2-1-1 Sacramento service, which is supported in part by the county’s office of emergency services, provides a map of locations where people can seek shelter, including overnight warming centers, daytime respite centers and public libraries. Currently, two overnight warming centers run by community organizations are open for walk-ups:
During past storms, the number of people using respite centers has ranged from 6 to 15 individuals.
The current winter storm has been the wettest so far in 2022, dropping more than an inch in the Sacramento area between Monday and Tuesday. Isolated thunderstorms are expected on Tuesday between 2 and 8 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. Despite the brief reprieve on Wednesday, additional storms are on the horizon, forecast through the weekend and possibly into next week.
This story will be updated with new and accurate information as it is available to CapRadio.
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