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Proposed Homeless Hospice Draws Criticism From Neighbors

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A proposed homeless hospice is now home to controversy in one Sacramento neighborhood.

Some neighbors are appealing the plans that have already been approved by the planning commission in an old River District warehouse.

"There is no building closer to me; there is no building that will have a great impact on me," business owner Bruce Booher said.

Booher owns a construction company on North C Street next to where the homeless hospice is proposed.

"As the next door neighbor, I've been very concerned as to how you adapt the existing building into such a high-intensity use," Booher said.

The hospice is Marlene von Friederich-Fitzwater's passion project.

"No one should die on the street, alone," von Friederich-Fitzwater said.

Her grandson Joshua died on the street, homeless. She's named the hospice "Joshua's House."

"And this is what he would have wanted," von Friederich-Fitzwater said.

Now after amassing half-a-million dollars in funds and the public support of the planning commission and the mayor, the project has been appealed.

"It's a unique situation over here," Booher said.

Booher is one of the neighbors who says this River District has too many homeless support services already.

"It is literally out of control," Booher said.

Booher points out River District leaders have been striving to turn this struggling area into a destination spot.

"How to bring people in, how to get excitement, how to get enthusiasm," Booher said.

Von Friederich-Fitzwater says the homeless hospice will not stop that.

"Why couldn't there be shops and coffee shops and boutiques in the area," she said. "I don't think this would change that."

Seeking a place to help those most in need in their final days.

"It's going to be a beautiful place," von Friederich-Fitzwater said.

In a district where business owners are concerned there is already a concentration in homeless services.

"Anything more makes a difference," Booher said.

The Sacramento City Council is set to vote on the fate of the homeless hospice on Tuesday.

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