SACRAMENTO — No sleeping bag, tent, or sweatshirt will keep you warm enough when the temperatures dip below 40 degrees this week.
That’s why Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg says he’s dedicated himself to making sure the homeless have a place to go on the coldest of nights.
He opened the city and county’s warming shelter on Christmas Eve at Southside Park and, so far, it has been opened for four very cold nights when the Pilgrimage Shelter Program wasn’t operating.
“They are being receptive, now that the word is getting out there. They are appreciative that the option is there. It’s just too cold to be outside in the evenings,” said Jaycob Bytel, Deputy Communications Director for the City of Sacramento.
Thursday, the shelter will open at 6 p.m. for it’s fifth night and the numbers are expected to increase dramatically. Numbers dwindled for the first few nights, but the fourth night the shelter was open, the numbers jumped.
“There has been up to 20 people there and we are getting the word out there with the service providers and some of the advocacy groups to help let the homeless people know that this option is available to them,” Bytel said.
Once at the shelter, the homeless get a lot more than just a warm place to go.
“We’re providing food, blankets, snacks and helping people connect with some of the services they need to end the cycle of homelessness,” said Bytel.
The animals will also get food, a place to sleep and medical care from Front Street Animal Shelter’s outreach vet. The shelter opens at 6 p.m. and will stay open through 6 a.m.