SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — There is controversy over a proposed homeless shelter that's planned to go into the old Powerhouse Science Center building on Auburn Boulevard.
The Sacramento City Council already approved a plan to contract with a homeless outreach provider. Now, pushback has put the plan on pause.
"It's not a done deal by any means yet," Sacramento City Councilmember Sean Loloee said.
Loloee says a lack of outreach in the community needs to be addressed.
"So it's very important for us to have this meeting with the community and then make a decision that would benefit the community as a whole," Loloee said.
Right next door is the Children's Receiving Home of Sacramento, a non-profit that houses at-risk youth. The organization opposed the plan approved by the council and issued a statement reading, in part:
"…we take the trial period seriously and will monitor and report impacts on our kids and campus, as our primary responsibility is to protect them…"
We asked CEO of Hope Cooperative Erin Johansen if the security concerns were legitimate.
"Not really," Johansen said.
Johansen says the planned engagement shelter would serve homeless already living in the community. It would include 24-hour security, and it would include a no tolerance policy for weapons and drugs.
"In the meeting that we had with them, concerns were raised about 'What if our kids leave our premises and end up at your premises,'" Johansen said. "And we said 'Well, we're going to bring them right back to you."
The City of Sacramento owns the property and selected the site for the new shelter.
"We've been trying to time it carefully so that the site is open and available at the same time word gets out about it," city, spokesperson Gregg Fishman said.
Can a children receiving home and homeless shelter share space next door to each other?
"We are still in the process of engaging the community," Loloee said.
For now the transition from science to social services hub is on hold.
The councilmember says he expected to hold several town hall meetings on this in the coming week and hopes to have a final decision soon after.
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