SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — After four people tested positive at Sacramento’s two warming centers, city leaders said they are working to find a back-up plan while both locations remain closed for 10 days.
Food, water, sleeping bags and hygiene products are a couple of things Faye Wilson Kennedy and a group of volunteers with the South East Village Neighborhood Association have provided for people experiencing homelessness.
“I don’t know if it’s perfect timing, but we’re always here. The groups are always here trying to support those who are unhoused,” Kennedy told FOX40 Sunday.
The help comes after the city had shut down its two only warming centers.
“It’s been really cold. It’s rained a couple of nights, and so I know there are people who need the warming centers,” Kennedy said.
The centers were shut down after three workers and someone staying the night tested positive for the coronavirus.
City leaders closed the Library Galleria and the Southside Park facilities for 10 days while both undergo deep cleaning.
As of Sunday, the city has no other option for people needing shelter except for the parking garage at City Hall.
“We’re at least keeping City Hall parking garage open, which is nice because it’s ventilated. It’s got open walls, but it’s sheltered from the wind and the elements,” explained Sacramento District 4 Councilwoman Katie Valenzuela.
Valenzuela said she and other city leaders are trying to do everything they can to find another location.
“We are actively working on additional locations. I think with 10,000 people on the street, our dream is that we could ramp up all these different hotel vouchers, vouch up all these different options, but it’s taking time,” Valenzuela said.
While another location is not yet certain, Valenzuela said protocols will change once the existing locations reopen.
“We were temperature checking at the door, all of the guests,” she explained. “We weren’t always temperature checking all of the volunteers and staff. So, that’s going to change.”
Before the Library Galleria closed, officials allowed 65 people inside. Valenzuela said city leaders are considering allowing only 50 people once it reopens.
The parking garage at City Hall will open an hour earlier Sunday at 6 p.m. to allow people to get there with enough daylight.
The garage will close at 8 a.m.