SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — It was once home to a highly-contested homeless camp in Sacramento until police raided it, forcing everyone out. Now, the site is being proposed to house the homeless once again.
District 6 Councilman Eric Guerra stood beside homeless advocates on Monday as he announced a plan to turn the old San Juan Motel site in the 5700 block of Stockton Boulevard into a navigation center and transitional housing model for the homeless. It would be 10 homes serving 400 people over the next few years.
Patty Uplinger works with Sacramento Self Help Housing.
“This would help get them off the street and get them in a house where services can be provided. We meet them where they’re at,” Uplinger said.
The project would be built on a site where the homeless illegally camped for years. Last May, amid protests, authorities removed the camps and cleared the site.
Guerra now hopes to bring in manufactured or modular homes, which can be ready in weeks.
“They’re built on a chassis, which is important because when they’re trucked in, they can also be immediately trucked out,” Guerra said.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg said, given our current affordable housing crunch, the project just makes dollars and sense.
“At $400,000-$500,000 of public subsidy per unit, it’s a simple math problem. We’re never going to create the volume that we need,” Steinberg said.
Within four years, the goal is to build 150 supportive housing units, a child care center, a workforce training center, and a community center.
The site is partially owned by the county, state and the city of Sacramento, posing a challenge to the project. Guerra says leaders are working to turn it into one parcel to move forward, but not everyone is happy about it.
“They just want to dump it here cause it’s not in their neighborhood,” James Musgrave, owner of Beck’s Shoe Emporium, said.
Musgrave’s shoe store is across the street from the proposed site.
“We’ve had the homeless there before, they’ve made nothing but a mess of the whole lot. They came into the parking lot and I personally saw pills and needles all over the ground,” Musgrave said.
He worries the project will drive business away.
Councilman Jay Schenirer says it’s a step in the right direction on the path to housing the homeless.