Some Neighbors Question Housing Program for Homeless Families

ELK GROVE -- There's a home for sale in Elk Grove and some neighbors have concerns about who might move in.

The city is considering purchasing a property for a program that would move homeless families into and out of it.

Sacramento Self-Help Housing spokesman Ken Bennett says neighbors typically have the same worries.

"Some people are naturally afraid of the homeless," he said.

This isn't the first rodeo for Sacramento Self-Help Housing.

There are already a handful of these homes around Elk Grove. Two months ago, the city council allocated $1 million of a $5 million state budget act to purchase two more homes and operate them as "navigation centers" -- temporary homes for families struggling to secure a permanent one.

"I don't think people understand it's not people just abusing the system, it's people trying to get their life back together," Josh Myers, who is formerly homeless, told FOX40.

Myers lived on the streets when he was just a teenager. He says people judged him before getting to know him.

"I didn't know what to do," he said. "I didn't know where I was going in this life."

Some of the people moving into the homes will be even younger -- school-aged children who might not be on the streets, who might be moving between hotels and shelters and couches with their parents.

"Can you imagine how well you'd do in school if you didn't know how you were going to eat, where you were going to sleep?" Bennet said.

Bennet says the program will give those kids a place to sleep for up to nine months, counseling, a caseworker and someone on site at all times to help guide their family forward.

The city council will consider the plan next week.