Sacramento’s Controversial Winter Homeless Shelter Accepting First 50 Clients

SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento's controversial winter homeless shelter is ready to accept the first 50 clients beginning Friday.

The converted warehouse off Del Paso Boulevard has bunk beds lined up along with storage boxes and lockers and a kennel has been set up for pets.

Dozens of homeless people have been caught across the street anticipating the opening day as night time temperatures dropped to the mid 30s.

City Council member Jeff Harris said this will be a different kind of winter shelter because it will be open 24 hours a day and will accommodate pets.  Services like counseling, drug programs and job services will help clients change their lifestyles.

Neighbors had complained bitterly about its location but a last minute change means it will be slightly more isolated from homes. City Council member Allen Warren says it will help neighborhoods by getting the homeless off the streets  to a centralized location.

Some residents still say they are bearing the burden that should be shared by other parts of the city.

Some homeless people who have signed up in advance for the first 50 slots say they are looking forward to getting help and a roof over their heads.

Others say they don't intend to use the new shelter preferring the independence of staying outside.