Unsolicited update on Elk Grove's winter sanctuary facility given during city council meeting

Gatherings Inn chief executive officer Keith Diederich updated the Elk Grove city council during their recent meeting. | 

In operation for six weeks, the city of Elk Grove has not provided any updates on its winter shelter facility in Old Town-Historic Downtown Elk Grove. However, an authoritative unsolicited report was provided during the city council meeting on Wednesday, December 13. 

Appearing before public comments on non-agenda items, Keith Diederich, chief executive officer of Roseville, Calif.-based Gatherings Inn, discussed the initial operations of the facility. Elk Grove contracted with Diederich's non-profit organization to manage the winter shelter.

Diederich opened his commentary by commending the city for opening the facility. Additionally, he noted productive dealings with city staff, pointing to the city's housing manager, Sarah Bontrager, and Elk Grove Police Department Lt. Dan Templeton and facilities staff.

"Sarah, the housing department is fantastic," Diederich said. See Mr. Diederich's entire commentary in the first video below.  

Discussing their contracted commitment to provide wrap-around services for clients, Diederich noted they helped transition one person to permanent housing. He added four or five clients are "housing ready."

The facility was opened on November 1 in the former Rite Aid drug store on Elk Grove Boulevard and Waterman Road in the Old Town special planning area. The city owns the structure, and next year, it will be converted into the relocated Elk Grove Library.  

Although some nearby residents supported the facility, most were opposed. As seen in the second video below, comments opposing the facility were typical of the vitriol directed at the city. 

The temporary winter sanctuary will cease operation on March 31. The city has not disclosed if it will operate a facility for the 2024-2025 winter season or where it might be.  

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

Kudos to the housing staff for participating in a true humanitarian project. The electeds may boast of approving the sanctuary, but neither the Mayor nor City Council members posted any grand opening selfies on their official social media pages. 

I've seen Council blast grand opening selfies of everything from tractor factories to cookie shops, but no sirree, they will never attach their faces to a homeless project in the Gaslamp District! 

Golden Skillet said...

Hey DJ, I think you are forgetting the grand opening of Bob's discount furniture!

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