Friday, April 3, 2009
|Photo from VOA webspace showing opening day of the Winter Shelter for 2008-09.|
The tentative opening date for the expanded area of Overflow [aka, Winter Shelter] is set for April 13, according to a Volunteers of America [VOA] media release. VOA operates the shelter at Cal Expo under contract with Sacramento County. We are told that five modular units have now been erected behind the main building of the shelter, to create needed additional space.
This new space will provide an area to place "as many as 50 additional beds for men and women," increasing the shelter capacity which today stands at 104 bunk-bed spaces for men and 52 bunk-bed slots for women and children.
The cost of extending the period in which Overflow is open, three months beyond its normal Mar. 31 close, is being borne by the City of Sacramento. As part of the city's effort to provide places to sleep to the growing number of homeless people in the city and county, and in light of the determination that the city will close Tent City soon, heightened demand for shelter space is expected this month.
Moving tent residents out of Tent City is an ongoing effort by the Sacramento police. When the final push will come, rousting resistant tent residents from their abodes, is unknown, but it will not occur before the new beds at Overflow are available. New-bed availability and full closure of Tent City are near certain to occur before the end of this month, a time-frame that Mayor Johnson has given. After Tent City residents are gone, SMUD and Union Pacific property, where the encampment emerged, will be fenced off.
In its press release, VOA asked for donations of cash, items on a list of things needed for the new shelter space, and time from people interested in volunteering to help at the shelter or provide services. SacHo will provide more information about this when VOA posts its donation request and list of needs at its webspace.
- * -UPDATE: An earlier version of this post included some computations of costs/expenses that were faulty. My bad. My apologies to VOA for putting bad information "out there" without careful checking [or, even, causual checking] of elements that I didn't understand.
-- Tom Armstrong
Education for Liberation! Join Up!
Peter S. Lopez aka: Peta