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Pilot Program Adds More Warming Centers For Homeless In Sacramento

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The city and county of Sacramento are teaming up to help the homeless stay warm during these freezing winter months.

"We have the will, and we're doing it," said Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

Thursday, a new pilot program was launched to open warming centers overnight when temperatures are at or below 40 degrees.

"It's important to remember that people on the streets are human beings, they have histories, they once had lives that were like ours in many ways, and fell on hard times," Steinberg said.

And now the city and county say the time is now to offer these warming centers that will provide a heated indoor space, blankets, water, hot chocolate and snacks.

"We don't want to waste any time," said Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna. "Temps are low and we have to keep people warm."

Mayor Steinberg says the program is being funded through reallocations of existing resources.

"There was a $100,000 set aside for motel vouchers. It's been underutilized so we're going to use some of that money to pay really the minor costs, a little bit of overtime and a few other costs," Steinberg said.

The warming center will initially be located at South Side Park. Medical support will also be provided, and the Front Street Animal Shelter will offer dog kennels and bags of dog food and blankets.

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