SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A vacant parking lot in Sacramento is to be the new home for those who are experiencing homelessness.
Saint John's Program for Real Change is building modular housing units that would give shelter to about an additional 55 women and children, bringing the number over 300, Sacramento City Councilmember Eric Guerra and Saint John's Program for Real Change announced at a news conference on Thursday.
Guerra and Saint John's Program for Real Change saw something more than a dirty, vacant lot.
"The beauty was a lot of us got together and saw hope and vision, and because of that now we've got this village, which is a community," Guerra said. "Today, we're trying to make that solution one step further to providing housing for our unhoused."
Those who move into the modular homes will have the following services optionally available to them: substance abuse recovery, mental health therapy, domestic violence therapy, financial management, job assistance and general assistance regarding housing.
Beyanse Martinez told ABC10 that Saint John's Program for Real Change was the only organization to give her a place to stay the same day. Martinez said the shelter is the best thing to happen to her because she could give up smoking and drinking and learn how to manage her money.
"Living on the streets, you're just going day by day, and you're just taking what you get in, you're running with it every time," Martinez said. "And now I don't have to worry about that."
Saint John's Program for Real Change officials would not say where they would build the homeless shelters, saying they want the location to be confidential. It is also not clear when the project will be finished.
Julie Hirota, a chief Executive officer at St John's, encouraged people in a news release to donate on May 6 for the Big Day of Giving.