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Board Approves $23 Million Purchase for Shelter

On Nov. 15, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the historic purchase of a $23 million piece of real estate that will ultimately serve as the county’s third and largest, to date, Safe Stay Community. 

The property, located at 4837 Watt Ave, is near several large encampments – both tent encampments and vehicle parking encampments. The space is initially expected to shelter up to 140 cabins for 160 people inside the building, with additional space for 50 cars/RVs in the parking lot for those wishing to transition from homelessness while remaining in their vehicles.

After county staff and supervisors conducted a series of community meetings with both business owners and residents in proximity to the site and received valuable community feedback on the use and plan for the site, staff returned to the board with​ a preliminary plan for use, capacity and logistics, as well as an estimate of $17 million for capital improvement costs.

The property consists of approximately 13.05 acres improved with a 129,491 square foot industrial building and parking lot. This site is recommended as the third Safe Stay Community site due to its size, access to infrastructure, and proximity to existing unsanctioned encampments – as well as the current owner’s willingness to sell the property to the County. 

​The total purchase price of $22,825,679, which reflects the property cost of $22,800,000, plus $25,679 in closing costs, will be funded from the county’s available ARPA allocation. Of the total $22,825,679, $18,825,679 will be funded from the Housing and Homelessness Strategic Investment and the remaining $4,000,000 will be funded from the District Allocations. Supervisors Serna, Kennedy, Frost and Desmond have each allocated $1,000,000 from their district APRA funds toward the purchase. 

Safe Stay Communities are low-barrier, full-service shelters located proximate to where unsheltered encampments exist in the community. Stay Safe Communities provide spaces where people living unsheltered can safely stay while engaging in necessary supportive services to aid them in exiting homelessness. 

Safe Stay Communities intentionally offer non-congregate sheltering, which has emerged as best practice after the Covid-19 pandemic, and allow access to diverse populations that may not be able to be successful in a congregate setting. As with all Safe Stay Communities, there will be accommodations for pets, places to store possessions and the ability to shelter with partners.

In developing Safe Stay Communities, the county is providing solutions, not only to address the health and safety of those living unsheltered, but the safety and rights of small business owners and residents to have clean and sanitary properties and neighborhoods. 

​For more information on the County’s Response to Homelessness, visit the website.

Photo supplied by Sacramento County.

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