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.
- A Rapid Homeless Sheltering Alternative - December 24, 2020
- Sacramento City Council Pushes Out Messy Roberts Center Audit - October 29, 2020
- Fake Racism Industry Revealed in Sacramento’s Measure G - August 12, 2020