The Elk Grove City Council will discuss two controversial homeless housing projects at the council meeting this Wednesday.
In 2022 the city council voted to deny the Oak Rose project in the old town area of Elk Grove, citing the incompatibility with the existing zoning for the old town area. The project applicant applied under California’s SB 35 law which streamlines the approval process for low-income housing. The state agreed with the applicant and both have sued the city of Elk Grove. The city had tried to work with the applicant to move the project to a different location but was unsuccessful. With the looming threat of costly litigation, the city has decided to reopen the discussion on the project with the possibility of approving the project as the likely result.
The second item is 9.1, the Enhanced Winter Sanctuary proposal
The city is considering using the former Rite Aid location at Elk Grove Blvd and Waterman Road as a temporary winter shelter from November 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024. The location is also the future Elk Grove Library, which will move from its current location at Elk Grove Blvd and Elk Grove – Florin Road.
Highlights of the proposed EWS include the following:
• The EWS will operate 24 hours per day from November 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024. A 24-hour model accommodates working people whose shift schedules might otherwise prevent them from accessing shelter. The model also means no line to enter or exit the shelter, reducing the impact on surrounding neighborhoods.
• The program will serve up to thirty (30) adults per night. Families with minor children will continue to be served by motel voucher programs.
• Priority will be given to people currently experiencing homelessness in Elk Grove. The City’s homeless services navigators, in coordination with the Police Department, will be actively encouraging homeless residents to utilize the EWS.
• The EWS will be a low-barrier shelter, which encourages individuals experiencing homelessness to seek shelter and resources by reducing barriers to entry, including accommodating the presence of partners, pets, and storage of possessions.
• Access to the EWS will be by referral only. Only people who have been vetted by a social services agency and have a referral will be able to use the shelter, discouraging loitering and unauthorized drop-offs. The City decided to use a referral-only system to reduce the burden on the neighborhood.
• Once a person is approved for the EWS, they will have a bed for the duration of the season. People may be asked to leave the EWS for behavioral reasons or for missing more than one night without approval.
The facility will not serve:
• No weapons, alcohol, non-prescription drugs, or drug paraphernalia will be allowed on-site. The service provider may search participants’ belongings.
The city council meeting will take place at 6 pm on Wednesday, September 27, 2023
Elk Grove City Hall – City Council Chambers 8400 Laguna Palms Way, Elk Grove, CA 95758