SACRAMENTO, Calif (KTXL) – Sacramento’s new sanctioned tent facility at Miller Park is intended to be a short-term solution for 110 unsheltered people, Sacramento’s Office of Homeless Services said.
“We’re talking months, we’re not talking years,” said Nick Golling, the program manager for Sacramento’s Office of Homeless Services.
“What I’m excited about with this location compared to what we had before is site control. This area is fenced in, there is a single main entry and exit for guests to use,” Golling continued.
The previous location alongside the freeway near W and X streets had some security concerns due to missing fencing. The new site at Miller Park is an improvement with permanent showers and electricity access.
“This is city-owned so we’re able to move really quickly,” Golling said.
Bob Erlenbusch, a member of First Step Communities, visited the site for opening day. First Step Communities is the operator of the site.
“Last year, we had a record number of homeless deaths, almost 200, which is about 60 more than we’ve ever had since I’ve been documenting homeless deaths for the inner coalition’s homeless death report,” Erlenbusch said. “So in a very literal sense, it’s life or death for people experiencing homelessness.”
As for the W/X freeway location, the new site will include social services geared towards helping people get into more stable housing. Golling said at the W/X freeway site, the average person stays there for 30-90 days and 43% of them were able to move onto a better living situation.
“We never want this to be anywhere close to permanent,” Golling said. “This should be let’s keep people safe, let’s keep people alive, let’s get people the services they need and then let’s find the housing in the community.”