Downtown Sacramento Businesswoman Offers Storefront to Homeless Woman

DOWNTOWN SACRAMENTO -- A Sacramento businesswoman has been trying to help the homeless downtown by opening her storefront to one woman living on the streets.

Homelessness in Sacramento has been an issue many local businesses are well aware of.

"Within the last year, I've seen a huge increase in the homeless population of women of all ages," said Jade Nicole, the vice president of business development for Magnum Opus.

The most recent estimate shows a 30 percent increase in homelessness in the county since 2015, with close to 4,000 people living on the streets.

Nicole has been helping the homeless woman at Magnum Opus on 12th and J streets.

She told FOX40 the two had a rough start.

"She caused a lot of problems, not only for the residents and the local businesses," Nicole said.

Nicole said she got a "no trespassing" order but then she had a change of heart.

"Instead of me calling the police for the trespassing order, I decided to open my heart and listen to her," Nicole said. "So, I got her a blanket and a jacket and she had tears rolling down her eyes and she was so grateful."

Recently, Nicole also invited Linda, a homeless woman in her 60s, to sleep in the entryway of her business.

"We made the deal that she could sleep in front of our office at the entryway from 8 p.m. until 8 a.m. with the agreement that there's no drugs, no alcohol, she cleans up after herself and there's no noise," Nicole said.

Nicole began storing Linda's blankets in her trunk.

She said she feels the arrangement is working.

"She told me she slept in peace the whole night and that was the first time in a long time," Nicole told FOX40.

Nicole said helping Linda has felt really good but it's also taught her some important lessons as well.

"It's taught me to be more compassionate," she said.

She hopes her compassion is contagious.

"Sometimes when you give a hand to someone else, they're gonna give you more for that gesture," Nicole said.

FOX40 reached out to the Downtown Sacramento Partnership about what Nicole's business is doing. They said having compassion for the homeless in Sacramento is important but "the most important thing we can be doing in the community is getting a roof over the head of homeless individuals."

Nicole says she told Linda she can sleep in front of her business until she finds permanent housing.

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