As I read the story of Sacramento’s plan to house hundreds of homeless in twenty locations within the city, I couldn’t help but wonder why none of them have opened to serve people. It wouldn’t be a bad idea if 10 or even 5 of the locations were up and running, but none opened makes you wonder if the plan was doomed before it even started and what did the city get for its $100 million investment.
Sorta makes that $1.7 million homeless bathroom look like a bargain. Each of those twenty locations has its own story of why it never opened. Here are just some of the reasons:
Colfax Street and Arden Way
What the council approved: 25 tiny homes for up 75 people
What happened: The city spent $617,000 to pave and fence the site to prepare it for tiny homes, but it never opened. A tight-knit group of homeless people went back to camping on the lot on Oct. 1.
Eleanor and Traction avenues
What the council approved: 10 tiny homes for 15 veterans
What happened: The site was on track to open in November 2021. The city planned to place 26 tiny homes on the city-owned site — more than double the number that was in the siting plan, Public Works Director Ryan Moore told the council last year. Following the adoption of the plan, however, Councilman Sean Loloee, whose district includes the site, “indicated that this was not a priority site,” city spokesman Tim Swanson said.
Lexington Street and Dixieanne Avenue
What the council approved: 50 tiny homes for 100 people
What happened: The adjacent Caliber Collision auto body shop sued the city alleging the tiny homes would hurt business. The city in May swept an encampment on the lot.
End of Rosin Court
What council approved: A safe ground and safe parking site for 100 cars, 120 people
What happened: Reclamation District 1000 had expressed interest in leasing the site to the city, Moore told the council last year. However, the site “is owned by Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency and is/was being used for construction staging by the Army Corps of Engineers,” Swanson said earlier this month.
Four locations under the W-X freeway from 18th to 24th streets
What the council approved: 200 tiny homes for 400 people
What happened: Michael Malinowski, owner of Applied Architecture on X Street, sued the city over the plan alleging it violated the California Environmental Quality Act. The city then signed a settlement agreement in which it agreed to abandon the project.
There are many more lots that never opened and you can read about them here.