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Mayor Steinberg to Announce Plan to Reduce Barriers to Micro-Shelters for Homeless throughout Sacramento

Allows Faith and Community Based Organizations to more easily shelter small groups of people

Sacramento, Calif -On Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, Mayor Darrell Steinberg will put forward a proposal to allow faith and community based organizations to shelter small numbers of homeless people year-round.

“Until the city can deliver adequate shelter capacity to serve the needs of our homeless population, we must be creative and do everything we can to provide a safe place for people to find respite from life on the streets,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “Our faith-based community is eager to fill that void and if we can pave the way for 20 congregations to shelter 20 people, we can create 400 shelter slots in the very near future.”

The Mayor will ask city staff to report back with the changes in City Code that need to be made to allow these “micro-shelters” to operate. Modifications will include removing the requirement that small residential shelters be 500 feet from a church or faith congregation, relaxing requirements for off-street parking and developing criteria to ensure operators have the experience and resources to successfully care for homeless people. Additionally, staff will be asked to determine what city resources would be needed to coordinate and support this effort.

“Sacramento has a dedicated, compassionate and capable faith community that has long been eager to do more for our most vulnerable population,” said Joan Burke, Director of Advocacy at Loaves & Fishes. “Pursuing these changes demonstrates the City’s willingness to do everything it can to address the immediacy of the homeless crisis and Loaves & Fishes is committed to recruiting and supporting congregations to help in that endeavor.”

This new initiative follows the success of the warming centers which provided 700 unique individuals with over 3,900 stays throughout the bitter winter. Since those facilities closed on March 31st, the City Council has been aggressively pursuing ways to provide shelter to the homeless people. Micro-shelters are expected to create capacity for 100-300 individuals at religious institutions and Community Based Organizations throughout the city.