Updated Jan. 13, 4:58 p.m.
The city and county of Sacramento will continue to operate several weather respite centers for unhoused residents into next week, offering temporary shelter during the storms that are expected to drench and pummel the region for a few more days.
These emergency shelters offer an overnight location for people to rest, dry out and recharge their phones. Cots, blankets, water and snacks are typically provided. They do not, however, provide the extended stays or range of social services provided at traditional homeless shelters.
The city of Sacramento’s weather respite centers will remain open through at least Jan. 18 for unhoused residents and anyone seeking shelter from the ongoing storms, the city announced in a news release.
Here are the city centers, available on a first-come, first-served basis:
- Outreach and Engagement Center at 3615 Auburn Blvd in northeast Sacramento. Walk-ups, families and pets are accepted at the 24-hour facility.
- The North Fifth Street Shelter lobby, 700 North 5th St. in the River District. It is open from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Walk-ups are accepted. The shelter is for adults only and is unable to accommodate pets.
Sacramento County has changed the location of some of its respite centers. It is operating these centers as of Jan. 13:
- Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd, Building 8. This shelter has crates for pets, blankets, water and snacks for guests. It is accepting unhoused residents by referral from the city, 211 Sacramento and community-based outreach groups, according to the county.
- Sacramento County increased capacity at its North A Shelter, 1400 N. A St., also in the River District, by an additional 55 beds, which have been filled. It will welcome new guests as beds are vacated, according to the county. It can accommodate pets.
The county also activated its motel voucher weather respite program ahead of the original storm on New Year’s Eve. It is currently sheltering more than 350 people in motels, according to a county news release.
People can use Sacramento RT light rail and buses for free to go to and from any weather-respite location, according to the county. The SacRT light rail station at Watt/I-80 station connects to bus Route 1, which has a stop near the Outreach and Engagement Center. Riders will need to inform SacRT staff that they are going to or leaving the warming center.
SacRT allows animals on leash and in cages. Personal belongings are limited to items people can carry themselves unassisted on one trip.
Moderate to heavy rain is expected on Friday and Saturday across Northern California, according to the National Weather Service. Another one to two inches of rain could fall in the Sacramento Valley and Sierra foothills, bringing renewed flooding concerns especially on Saturday, the NWS said.
Though several respite centers have reached capacity in recent days, many homeless Sacramentans have remained at their own encampments, even as conditions turned deadly.
Two unhoused people were found dead last weekend with trees on top of their tents, the Sacramento County Coroner’s office reported. A violent storm in late January last year also led to the deaths of several unhoused people in Sacramento, advocates reported at the time.
In interviews with CapRadio this month, unhoused residents said it’s often too difficult to access the region’s scattered shelters. Others said they fear losing their possessions if they leave their familiar camps.
Still others said they lack confidence in Sacramento’s shelter system because of past harm, including promises of shelter, housing or other services that were never fulfilled.
- The city of Sacramento emergency services website has information about a range of homeless services, including crisis mental health centers, seasonal respite centers and homeless shelters for adults, families, youth, pregnant people and survivors of domestic violence.
- The city of Sacramento also has a frequently asked questions website addressing concerns about homeless encampments.
Sacramento County maintains a ‘What You Can Do’ website on how to volunteer at homeless shelters and for reporting concerns about encampments. It also has a Homeless Initiatives website detailing its efforts to address the ongoing crisis.
CapRadio will update this story as information about additional weather respite centers is announced.
Contact CapRadio news reporter Chris Nichols at [email protected]
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