Homeless day shelter opens for winter

By From page A1 | November 22, 2013

A day shelter for the homeless is now open, said Placerville City Manager Cleve Morris. “There haven’t been very many people using it yet, but it’s been open for almost a week.”

The day shelter is located at Christ-Like Services at 7500 Green Valley Road, which will also host an evening shelter two nights per month. The facility is currently used for job training.

Nomadic shelters provided by faith-based organizations and churches serve the homeless population in the evenings, but a place for them to be dry and warm during winter days was a goal of the city manager when the Hangtown Haven homeless encampment closed down. Morris has been working with county staff to find a location for the day shelter and for a location for a permanent shelter in the county.

A Temporary Use Permit that expires March 31, 2014, which is also when the nomadic shelters close for the winter, is in process. “The TUP is more for the night shelter twice a month than for a day shelter since it is already open as a training facility during the day,” said Pierre Rivas, city community development director. The capacity of the day shelter will cap at about 60 people and the evening shelter about 50, depending on the fire marshal’s approval, said Rivas.

“This is just for the winter,” said Morris. “It is not a permanent shelter.”

Morris said the preliminary estimates peg the cost of running the shelter at $2,500-$4,000 per month.

“The owner of Christlike Services operates the shelter and has opened the facility on his own but has requested some assistance. We are still trying to determine the level and are working with the county on what the cost will be,” Morris said.

Temporary Use Permits are granted at the discretion of the community development director and do not have to go to the Planning Commission or the City Council for approval or public hearing.

“We chose to do that with the Hangtown Haven Temporary Use Permit, but there is no requirement to do so,” said Morris. He said a few residents have expressed concerns.

A bus transports homeless individuals from Mercy Way Rescue on Broadway to one of the nomadic shelters each evening and brings them back each morning. “The majority of homeless are still on Broadway because they use the Community Resource Center and have meals at the Upper Room,” said Morris, “but Hangtown Haven is looking at ways to transport people to the day shelter.

“We are trying to reduce the number of homeless coming into our area, but we want to assist the homeless who are here now through the winter months,” said Morris.

Wendy Schultz

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