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'If we’re not going to take care of our neighbors, who will?' | City council approves 2 new homeless shelters

The council passed the W-X Freeway shelter by a vote of 7 to 2. The Meadowview site, considered the more controversial of the two, passed by a vote of 6 to 3.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento City Council approved both proposed homeless shelter sites during a heated meeting Tuesday night.

One shelter will be located under the W-X Freeway near Alhambra and Broadway, passed by a vote of 7 to 2, while the other will be placed in the Meadowview neighborhood, considered by some the more controversial of the two, passed by a vote of 6 to 3. 

City councilmembers Angelique Ashby, Larry Carr, and Allen Warren were the dissenting votes.

Both shelters could be open by winter 2019.

During the meeting, Mayor Darrell Steinberg outlined his proposal for a 24-hour rehousing shelter for women and children at a city-owned parking lot down the street from the Pannell Community Center in Meadowview, next to a solid waste facility. According to Steinberg’s proposal, the shelter would house up to 100 people with outreach focused on those already living in the neighborhood.

Nearly 100 people signed up to speak at Tuesday’s meeting. A majority of those who voiced their opinion opposed the shelter, not because they’re completely against the idea, but because they feel the plan was rushed.

“It’s lipstick on a pig. Short term, not long term,” Estelle, a resident in the area, said.

Stevante Clark, the brother of Stephon Clark, was among those who spoke out against the shelter, suggesting an alternative site for consideration.

“There’s a site on Freeport…owned by [Sacramento Regional Transit]…and they’re willing to negotiate about that site,” Stevante said.

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There were those who spoke in favor of the shelters, too.

 “[It’s] not about politics! It’s about making sure women and children have safety,” one woman in favor of the shelters said.

 “These are our neighbors… If we’re not going to take care of our neighbors, who will,” Councilmember Jay Schenirer asked.

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Unsheltered Life: Homeless in Sacramento | Part I