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Controversial Sacramento Homeless Shelter Readying For Dec. 8 Opening

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — In one week, the doors will open on the North Sacramento homeless triage shelter. The controversial project had been debated for months.

"Our task in the next week is to create a residence area within this 22,000 square-foot warehouse," said Leo McFarland, the president of Volunteers of America.

The empty warehouse on Railroad Drive in North Sacramento once housed a metal workshop, but it will soon house people.

"We're in the process this week of getting this shelter ready to receive beds, bed frames, walls, all the elements of feeding individuals, preparing for pets," explained McFarland.

Volunteers of America, along with a half-dozen other organizations will operate the low barrier homeless shelter.

"They're not turned away because they're in a wheelchair. They're not turned away because they're a couple. They're not turned away because they have a pet with them," said McFarland.

In just days, walls will be built to create housing pods within the warehouse. Heaters were installed to pump in warm air. Hot meals will be served three times a day. There are showers and portable restrooms, and nearly 50 crates for animals.

"Everybody here in the shelter is going to have a locker and a lock," said McFarland.

Addiction and health services will be available for the chosen men and women.

Access to this shelter is by referral only, which has some homeowners in the community concerned about the crowds that may follow.

"We will be keeping a close eye to see what the impacts are," said Alicia Sebastian, a North Sacramento homeowner.

She says the community supports helping the area's homeless, but would like the responsibility spread throughout the city.

"We hope to see other neighborhoods and other communities take on a project like this," said Sebastian.

An emergency shelter for the winter months is now just days away from greeting its first guests.

"This will be home for them until we can find that next proper placement for them," said McFarland.

The shelter is scheduled to open on Dec. 8 and will remain open for the following four months.

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