SACRAMENTO -- Soon the city of Sacramento will have a homeless triage center at Cal Expo.
"The reality is most of the folks who are on the street have multiple issues and if we just do shelter that’s not going to change it," said Sacramento Vice Mayor Eric Guerra. "We have to look at triage with health services to deal with the drug issues, but more importantly making a significantly large dent with the population."
The center will feature 100 beds, bathrooms and lockers, as well as medical facilities and staff.
It will go in what is now Lot P on Ethan Way near Hurley Way, which has few neighbors and already many homeless camps nearby on the American River Parkway.
However, before Tuesday’s vote at city council, District 8 City Councilman Larry Carr questioned how effective the center would be at reducing the number of homeless in the city.
"We’re saying we can move homeless people through in three to four to five months and get them into permanent housing, permanent supportive housing of some type. So I’m going to see if we can do this, if we can actually do this," Carr said.
In the end, the center was approved unanimously.
The city says construction will take around six months but Cal Expo’s board of directors must approve it first.
"We need to make sure that everyone is moving forward on this," Guerra said. "I think we’re going to find a solution for our city if we’re working together as a community."
The estimated cost for design and construction of Lot P is $3.8 million.
The council's vote also authorized the use of $300,000 in Measure U funds to add four more employees to the city’s Homeless Services division.