ROCKLIN, Calif. — Roseville resident Kathy Butler first heard about a proposal for a homeless shelter three miles from her home through a petition her son sent her.
The petition is called Homeless Shelter in Rocklin CA and as of Dec. 14, more than 5,505 people have signed it.
"There's quite a few residents who are very concerned. We're really on edge. We're trying to figure out, you know, do we leave? Do we put our home up for sale? You know if this goes in, what do we do?" Butler said.
The Gathering Inn is a nonprofit serving people impacted by homelessness with a vision to end homelessness.
President and CEO of The Gathering Inn Keith Diederich wrote in an email to ABC10 that the homeless shelter project has not been brought before local governmental entities.
"At this at this time, the Campus of Hope proposal is just that: a proposal," Diederich wrote. "It is not formally before any governmental entity such as the Placer County Board of Supervisors nor any of the city councils."
The Campus of Hope website states the homeless shelter project could be located at 4242 Cincinnati Avenue.
"The Campus of Hope will occupy 16 acres and is located directly across the Santucci Justice Center in the Sunset Industrial Area of un-incorporated Placer County," according to The Gathering Inn website.
The Gathering Inn created a project and a digital rendering of what a homeless shelter could look like, as well as a petition to gauge interest and support for the project.
This potential project is conceptually broken down into two phases: phase one includes emergency housing with 250 beds and phase two includes long-term housing with 240 micro-homes.
While this project is not under any formal consideration, nor has it been approved, Butler said the wording on The Gathering Inn's website is confusing.
"As far as The Gathering Inn, on their website, they specifically say it's going to happen," Butler said, adding the word "will" used on The Gathering Inn's website stands out to her and others.
Robert Weygandt, Placer County Supervisor for District 2 and current chair of the board, said the county did a feasibility study in 2016 on the county-owned property near Rocklin and Roseville that could become the home of The Campus of Hope.
Weygandt said a feasibility study is essentially done to see if there is a fatal flaw in the land where it could not be used for a facility like the Campus of Hope. The report came back and did not have any fatal flaws in the property. This report was just to determine the possibility of the property supporting a large facility, such as the Campus of Hope.
"In the end, for any facility to actually be constructed, it would have to be approved and that would have to go through a very detailed process at the county for which there would have to be public notice and there would have to be public hearings and everyone would have a right to come and comment," Weygandt said.
Butler, who lives about three miles from the site, said she thinks people need an opportunity for a fresh start, but that she does have concerns about the location.
"I don't have a problem with any homeless shelter being built, but I truly believe that it needs to be built within an area that is not going to affect residents, their children, where they walk and be a magnet for other homeless people," Butler said.
According to Wendy Williams, the director for communications and public affairs for Placer County, there have been no discussions about specific shelter locations. However, there is a committee that has been working for the past several months to develop solutions for the county's homeless population.
Bonnie Gore, Placer County Supervisor for District 1, told ABC10 the county is currently working to put together a Placer Regional Homelessness Action Plan. Gore is on the committee, along with other representatives from the county, each of the local cities, Health and Human Services, and public safety.
"We are hoping to all get a better understanding of the needs in our community, the services currently provided, the gaps that may need to be filled and we are exploring solutions," Gore wrote in an email to ABC10. "However, we’re still in this process and then we’ll reach out to the community for their input."
Williams said in an email that the committee plans to present some initial recommendations for next steps in the spring of 2022. But, at this point, Gore said there has been no decision on a homeless shelter.
Weygandt said if The Gathering Inn's proposal were to be formally brought before the Board of Supervisors, it would be a public process.
"The Gathering Inn has had some conceptual plans of what a particular homeless shelter might look like and how the services might be provided, but it's — I would consider it to be quite preliminary and other than the feasibility study, the board has not taken any action whatsoever. At all," Weygandt said. "And if we did do that, there would be a very public process, and the public notice and public hearings and would be available to listen to constituents and the concerns and that's the way the process works at the local level."
Weygandt said the key thing for people to do is to reach out to the Placer County Board of Supervisors to explain concerns or questions they may have so supervisors can explain what exactly is going on and where they are in the process of various projects.