Davis to open homeless respite center

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DAVIS, Calif. (KTXL) -- Every night around a third of Davis’ homeless population uses a service that allows them to stay at area churches.

With winter on its way, the city will soon offer another option in the form of a homeless respite area.

“Laundry, showers, a place to just sit and read a book or watch TV, something like that. But just a place that’s out of the elements,” said Davis Mayor Brett Lee.

Davis City Council decided to put it at the city’s Public Works Corporation Yard off 5th Street.

The original idea was to build it off 2nd Street under a pedestrian bridge but that location was not received well at a public meeting. Some of the pushback centered around safety, with the location being right next to not only the walking bridge but also in the path of a bike trail, which is heavily used by adults and kids.

“Young children, teenage and preteen children on their way across 80,” said one Davis resident.

Mayor Lee said now that a location has been selected, he is confident it’s the right place to help the area’s homeless.

“This is not meant to be sort of this uncontrolled sort of sprawling sort of thing,” he told FOX40. “The average person walking by understands that the footprint here. There’s fence around it, there’s controlled access, and so it should be very different than what people imagine.”

The mayor said they are hoping to apply for grants and use that money to pay for the respite area. If the grant money does not come in time, it will be initially paid for from the general fund.

The city is hoping to open up the daytime respite within the next month and they will reevaluate the situation after around six months of it opening, with the possibility of adding a nighttime shelter to the location.

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