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Residents Speak Out Against Proposed Homeless Shelter's Location

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Sacramento community is outraged after plans for both a permanent and temporary homeless shelter were laid out.

The plan calls for at least 500 beds for people experiencing homelessness. But some North Sacramento residents say that city leaders need to look somewhere else.

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"Maybe they don't think that we speak up enough, but we're speaking up this time," said Billie Booth, the president of the Dixieanne Neighborhood Association. "We want to build this up. We're just as good as any nice area, just give us a chance."

Booth and others filled a meeting room on Del Paso Boulevard for a community strategy session. She says the city's plan for not one, but two homeless shelters are just too much.

A proposed 200-bed permanent shelter offering social and health services would be near the Royal Oak RT station. A mile and a half away on Railroad Drive, is the proposed site of a temporary winter shelter for 300 more people.

"I don't know how much community voice they really wanted," said Larry Glover-Meade, Woodlake Community Association President.

Glover-Meade says his neighborhood has been targeted for homeless relocation.

"We don't find it any coincidence that this area has a low voting rate and has low income rates, so it feels like the city is trying to take advantage of that," he said.

But not everyone at the meeting felt the same way.

"It's pulling people off of the street," said business owner Rick Eaton.

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He says North Sacramento has an opportunity to help solve a wide-reaching issue.

"I think there's a good chance that these proposals or something like it would reduce the problem that we're experiencing," said Eaton.

Glover-Meade says his neighborhood is open to help, but right now, the only proposed sites are in his backyard.

"Concentrating such a problem in one area just doesn't seem very fair," he said.

City leaders are still working out the details, but say North Sacramento won't be the only community involved.

"The city is looking at a multitude of sites, not just those sites and we are continuing to look for additional sites," said Emily Halcon, the city's homeless services coordinator.

The strategy outlined at Monday's meeting was to flood city hall with comments and concerns.

Council members should expect a vocal group during the public comment portion of Tuesday's meeting.

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