Mayor Steinberg proposes shelter for women and children on Meadowview site
Backed by Meadowview community leaders, Mayor Darrell Steinberg Monday announced that he would revise his proposal to build a Rehousing Shelter in Meadowview to serve chronically homeless women and children.
Mayor Steinberg plans to ask the City Council to vote on the 100-bed Meadowview proposal Tuesday.
RoLanda Wilkins, whose non-profit Earth Mama Healing works to empower women and girls, said such a shelter is badly needed in the south area.
“I work with a lot of girls who are in high school.” Wilkins said. “A lot of them are homeless and living in cars. It’s hard to focus on your schoolwork when at the end of the day you’re going back to your car. I feel like we need a shelter in our neighborhood that can help us address that urgent population.”
Yolanda Stevenson, program manager of the Meadowview Black Child Legacy Campaign, said her social services non-profit sees three to seven homeless women with children who walk in for help each day. “There was just a family last week with seven children and she was pregnant with twins, in a car with 100 degrees with no air conditioning whatsoever,” Stevenson said.
The Council is also expected to vote Tuesday on the siting of a non-gender -specific Rehousing Shelter for adults under the W-X Freeway near Alhambra and Broadway. In addition, it is expected to move forward on repurposing 184 traditional beds in two existing shelters owned by the county in the River District to accept people with their pets, partners and possessions and to offer the services and housing placement that are proven to work in getting people into permanent housing.
The Council also will be voting to contract with outside partners for an additional 50 family shelter beds.
Sacramento Steps Forward, the non-profit that coordinates homeless services for the county, said its biennial Point in Time Count in January found an estimated 1,150 women and children who are homeless and living outside or in cars in Sacramento.
“Every number is a human being, and we have a responsibility to bring as many people safely indoors as we can,” Mayor Steinberg said. “Tomorrow we are presenting real choices that allow us to over 600 beds in the very near future, many of them before winter starts, We are so close to standing up enough shelters to get thousands of people off the streets. We must follow through as a city.”
With the addition of the Capitol Park Hotel, which will reopen as a shelter with up to 180 beds in September, the City of Sacramento could soon have more than 600 shelter beds offering the services proven to best help people transition out of homelessness.
The Meadowview site was chosen because it met important city criteria. At nearly five acres, it is large enough for residents to have some outdoor space. It has access to utilities and sewage lines, and is already owned by the City.