Operator of Old Town-Historic Downtown Elk Grove homeless shelter to be selected by Elk Grove City Council

The planned relocation of the Elk Grove Library located at Elk Grove Boulevard and Elk Grove-Florin Road to another Old Town-Historic Downtown Elk Grove location appears to be temporarily stopped. 

According to a city of Elk Grove press release issued yesterday, the planned relocation of the library to the new facility located at Elk Grove Boulevard and Waterman Road will be frozen. Instead, the Elk Grove City Council will select an independent charitable organization to operate the facility as a winter homeless shelter at their September 25 meeting. 

Dubbed the Enhanced Winter Sanctuary, the program will provide supportive services and shelter to up to 30 individuals and their pets. The homeless shelter will operate from November 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024, "during the cold and rainy winter months." 

Located at 9260 Elk Grove Boulevard, the site is a former Rite Aid drug store the city purchased for $3 million in 2021 to house the Elk Grove Library. The city council will select an outside partner to run the facility during their September 25 meeting.

Elk Grove Housing and Public Services Manager Sarah Bontrager said, "Having available shelter options for seniors and other vulnerable people experiencing homelessness provides compassionate care to those who have an especially difficult time during the winter months when weather conditions have led to deaths in other communities."   

The facility is near the proposed Oak Rose supportive housing project rejected by the city council in July 2022. The rejection of that permanent supportive housing facility led to a still-pending lawsuit filed against Elk Grove alleging violation of state fair housing laws by California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta.

The Oak Rose project generated controversy and opposition from Old Town-Historic Downtown Elk Grove residents and merchants. In response to their opposition, the city council unanimously rejected the Oak Rose project. 

To alleviate fears expressed during the July 2022 Oak Rose project hearing, the press release noted facility clientele will be closely monitored and offered supportive services. The announcement noted, "The operator will enforce rules and restrictions on site that will prohibit registered sex offenders, people with serious behavioral health challenges, or those who wish to use drugs or alcohol on site. Elk Grove Police Department cameras and personnel will monitor the site for safety and security."  

Along with the Enhanced Winter Sanctuary, the city will continue operating warming centers as needed based on standards established by the Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services. The city did not say if and when the facility will be open as the library.  

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Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

I can't imagine the people in Old Town who opposed Oak Rose will be happy with this facility, even if it is temporary. Also this will be a test for council member Mr. Brewer and his District 2 MAGA constituency.

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