TRACY, Calif. (KTXL) — The Tracy City Council unanimously approved a plan to develop a temporary emergency homeless shelter.
“We’ve seen a really growing number of unsheltered in our community,” City Manager Jenny Haruyama said.
Haruyama says the temporary shelter is part of the city’s homeless strategic plan. The shelter will be located at 500 West Arbor Avenue on a vacant piece of property the city owns.
“We recognize that we need to take this action, not only for the unsheltered but for the entire community,” Haruyama said.
There is currently no shelter within the city limits.
The city approved spending $900,000 to clear the site, improve the road and put up manufactured structures so the shelter can be up and running by the end of the year.
“The shelter itself can only be up for about a six-month duration. But the point would be to have at least 20 to 30 people,” Haruyama said. “We’re starting out small and being able to try to transition them into transitional housing so that they could get more permanent housing.”
Jim Osborne, the director of the Tracy Community Connection Center, which serves the city’s homeless, says it’s a step in the right direction.
“This would be basically a no-barrier shelter and we’d be able to house a lot more people,” he said.
His organization plans to put in a bid to manage the shelter to ensure people staying there have access to resources.
“We would provide case managers and point people to the right places to get Social Security benefits, to get medical benefits, to get anything that they need,” Osborne said.
Osborne says last year’s point in time count identified more than 150 people who were homeless and says the number is only growing.
“My big fear is when the moratorium on evictions is over, we may see a whole lot more homeless, and they’re going to need help,” he said.