Sacramento City Council Approves Meadowview Homeless Shelter

SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento City Council voted in favor of a controversial homeless shelter planned for the Meadowview area.

Changes to the shelter were announced Monday. It will now only house women and children.

It was one of three plans Mayor Darrell Steinberg asked the city council to support at Tuesday night's meeting. Council members also approved another shelter for both men and women near Alhambra Boulevard and Broadway.

The streets of Sacramento have been her home for five years, but Loretta Evans said she has a dream.

"I'm not even going to say it's a goal. It's my actual fact is I'm going to be the best medical assistant," Evans said.

Despite her homelessness, Evans is a college student fighting to change her current situation in life.

Dozens packed into Sacramento City Council chambers Tuesday, some of them there to support the city's efforts to help homeless people like Evans with three new shelter proposals.

"Readdress the people who came from our communities and put them back in our communities the right way!" yelled activist Kevin Carter.

Vehement disagreement about the placement of a center for women and children near the Pannell Meadowview Community Center took up more than an hour during the meeting.

"Those of you that knew her will recall the Bonnie Pannell look," said a Meadowview resident. "So, at this point, she's giving you guys all a look and it's heck no, not next to my beloved, safe place for kids and families."

"There's lots of other places to move this shelter,” said resident Charles McCoy. “There's a place down Freeport and Cosumnes.”

There was no lack of passion for those supporting the revised plan for women and children in place of a low-barrier shelter that wouldn't exclude people based on their criminal background or substance abuse status.

"I'm really embarrassed that there are members of a faith community in here tonight talking about, 'We don't want homeless shelters 500 feet away from churches.' No wonder Jesus tore up the entire place,” said Sacramento resident Dr. Flojuane Cofer. “I mean, how dare you. How dare you."

Councilman Larry Carr led the opposition in Meadowview.

"You asked us to find sites in our district. I'm asking you to find a site in your neighborhood," he said to the mayor.

"Happily," Steinberg responded.

"There is a site available that meets the criteria in any neighborhood of the city, including mine. I will not only vote yes, I will strongly support it. Period."

On Tuesday, Carr pressed those who have done homeless counts in the area about any other kind of solution rather than putting a facility at the proposed site in his district.

He later expressed his disapproval of the vote.

"I'm feeling sad. I'm feeling very sad for our community," he told FOX40. "I'm feeling very sad for our city. I'm feeling for the city council that they would force a facility like this right next to the Sam and Bonnie Pannell Community Center."

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