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Oakland Cabin Community. (Photo: youtube screen capture)

A Rapid Homeless Sheltering Alternative

Sacramento central city and other neighborhoods are being overrun by homeless vagrants

By Rick Stevenson, December 24, 2020 7:05 am

The Sacramento central city and other neighborhoods are being overrun by homeless vagrants in both business and residential areas. Many of those homeless have acute drug and mental problems.

Further, a great deal of money has been expended without a real impact on this city’s homeless situation over the past several years.

In Sacramento, an October “temporary shelter” homeless housing ordinance now touted by Mayor Steinberg is still pending, which would force homeless encampments into all neighborhoods without normal Planning Commission review or approvals, while removing the neighborhood avenues to object.       

Further, Governor Newsom’s $800 million Project Homekey plan to purchase properties such as motels for homeless housing has been a marked failure in taking all but very small numbers of homeless people inside from California streets, with no noticeable impact in Sacramento.    

Federal emergency COVID funds have been used to provide local homeless housing, but only for a very short period of time which is now expiring.


There is no need to wait until the completion of the city temporary shelter ordinance Mayor Steinberg promotes, and which may take months to achieve.

In the Sacramento area “cabin communities” can be immediately established on local government controlled properties at three former military bases and Rancho Seco. Each property can accommodate numerous “cabin communities” of the successful Oakland model.

A community would have 40-60 homeless residents, allowing the onsite managers to know each individually. This presents obvious advantages over a huge site with more than a hundred residents. Each resident can be COVID tested to allow two per cabin.

Numerous cabin communities in close proximity allows concentration of services, yielding cost saving efficiencies over the diffused homeless locations scattered all over the city, as envisioned in the pending city “temporary shelter” ordinance.

Cabin units can readily be moved as needs change, and do not permanently impact a particular area, plus they can be readily incorporated into projects addressing longer term solutions.   

Oakland moved entire areas of homeless into cabin communities, meaning residents already were acquainted, smoothing that transition. And the public squalor can be abated so businesses and neighborhood residents can return to normal.

Also, those with substance abuse or other problems were housed in cabin communities specialized in dealing with such situations, saving money by allowing specialized services where most are needed, rather than the wasteful “all services at all locations” model.

The Oakland precedent has established legal conformity to the requirements of the federal 9th Circuit Court Martin vs. City of Boise, that can also be applied in Sacramento and the rest of California.

In Sacramento, a two resident, one hundred and twenty square foot cabin unit, projected cost is $12,000 to $15,000 depending on amenities, as materials have increased in cost due to covid caused supply chain shortages. This is a tiny fraction of the hundreds of thousands of dollars each Project Homekey room costs, or typical housing provided by the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency.   

One cabin unit supplier has offered to create a fabrication facility in Sacramento, also providing employment to some homeless, giving them an employment record for jobs elsewhere. They would also market to other northern California jurisdictions, and seek to expand into full scale manufactured housing, providing more local employment.

Los Angeles, Wrong Again

Los Angeles provides a fine example of how not to accomplish an effective homeless cabin example, costing far too much and taking much too long. They have purchased thirty-nine 63.75 square foot cabin units, each costing $130,000, while a second cabin unit project projected to open in April will cost a mere $82,000 per unit.

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13 thoughts on “A Rapid Homeless Sheltering Alternative

  1. Great idea when the feces, trash and syringes become ankle deep they can pick the flop house up and move it somewhere new where they can start all over again of course leaving their mess for taxpayers to clean up. Legalizing drugs providing free syringes and free housing!!!! I wonder why they all run to commifornia great job Newsome frigging idiot.

  2. If our government, and their billion $ real estate friends, would build more affordable housing, and lower prices so us poor common folk can afford, I’m sure it would help get many off the streets. But instead they mainly build million $ homes, condos, etc., that only they and their elite friends can afford. There are only 2 kingdoms in this world that Almighty God created. Revelation 20:10, ” And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. May God help us all because He’s the Only One who can! Psalm 91 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9LdAjWNOTc&pbjreload=101

  3. $10,000 ? You could buy a tuff shed for $8,000!! Why don’t they give the material to them and have them build their own? Oh that’s right we can’t expect them to actually work to receive aid

    1. Newsom or the mayor will have to get their cut. Then there are all the union hacks that must get their share. Before long a garden shed will cost more than one of those mythical defense department toilet seats. 😉

  4. Sound like a dictatorship “force homeless encampments into all neighborhoods without normal Planning Commission review or approvals, while removing the neighborhood avenues to object.”
    Abject California politicians have successfully attracted over half the homeless population in the United States to California while fueling the exodus of productive citizens and businesses out of California.
    S#!T, another reason to leave Calizuela…

    1. The “homeless” are a weapon used against law abiding citizens that leftist politicians wield just like the criminals they release into society knowing people will die. Their plan is “No Safe Places” for you and me to live.

  5. What the homeless need are drug rehabilitation and a JOB….We haven’t had leadership in California for decades they cater to these drugged out, mentally deranged homeless by doing everything they can to keep them on drugs and not make any effort to tackle the real problems. It’s sick.

  6. The sometimes counterproductive fire constructions can add $100,000 to the cost of a 1,200 square foot house. And years to get it permitted. Many in rural areas don’t get permits and just hope they don’t get noticed. Letting all larger properties, including those with Agriculture zoning, have a second unit would help. Buying hotels is far too expensive. The inexpensive cabins are a great option. Not clear if they have bathrooms. Premade units are available for around $2,000. A line of plumbing running along the back and a small water heater would make it a house.

    HUD payments are very generous but take years when the suddenly single mom of preschools needs immediate financial help.

  7. “They have purchased thirty-nine 63.75 square foot cabin units, each costing $130,000, while a second cabin unit project projected to open in April will cost a mere $82,000 per unit…..” – WTF Los Angeles????????

    Did ‘Newsome-Padilla Construction’ get that contract?

    Oracle, HP, Tesla to name a few of the tax-paying (revenue-producing) companies leaving, not to mention 100s of thousands of tech workers (tax payers) now working remote leaving this state……… anyone bother to think WHO is going to pay for this?

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