SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A high-water storm warning blasted from the loud speaker of a helicopter could be hear all along the American River Sunday night and Monday morning.
Robert Vincenzi, a man experiencing homelessness, woke up to those calls Monday. Vincenzi is one of the several dozen people camping in the Woodlake Area along the Sacramento River. The harsh weather is just another reminder of how difficult it is to live without a home.
"I don't want to spend the rest of my life out here, but I am not going to be put in some house with eight other people with issues just like I got," he said.
Vincenzi is talking about the weather respite housing services that Sacramento offers. Currently, the county is sheltering 200 unhoused individuals through their hotel voucher program. They also opened a 55-person shelter at their North A facility. The county also opened up a shelter at the Howe Park Community center, which is still accepting people.
"We got services but they are limited. We got 9,000 people in the county homeless. That is a lot," said Vincenzi.
Vincenzi's homeless count is not wrong. The 2022 Homeless Point-In-Time Count, says nearly 9,300 people identify as homeless in the county, and if you ask Bob Erlenbusch, a night or two in a shelter or motel doesn't work for everyone.
"People are not going to go if they have to leave there stuff behind to go to a warming shelter," said Bob Erlenbusch, executive director with the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness.
He says theft in homeless camps is a real problem and many people can't just leave for a night.
"Why not put up some trailers or industrial tents next to the camps so they can have their stuff protected," said Erlenbusch.
For now, Sacramento is extending the operation of it's weather respite center and that includes free RT Shuttle services to shelters. Just ask one of the RT workers and they will help you get a ride to the nearest shelter.