Search for 2024-25 Elk Grove winter homeless sanctuary underway

Keith Diederich, CEO of The Gathering Inn, during the December 13, 2023 Elk Grove City Council meeting. |

As services wind down at Elk Grove's winter homeless sanctuary, the search for the next location of the facility is underway. Elk Grove's public affairs manager, Krystyn Lawrence, conveyed that information.

In the latest edition of Elk Grove's monthly information release, Lawrence noted the winter sanctuary on Elk Grove Boulevard, which opened on November 1, will conclude service on March 31.

The winter sanctuary operates at the city-owned facility on Waterman Road and Elk Grove Boulevard in Old Town-Historic Downtown Elk Grove in the structure that formerly housed a Rite Aid drug store. Once the sanctuary operations cease, the building will be remodeled to accommodate the Elk Grove Library.

Lawrence affirmed that the city plans to operate another winter sanctuary later this year. City staff is already preparing, Lawrence said.

"Staff is already on the lookout for an alternate site to host the program again next fall," she said. "And I think we can expect a more comprehensive update on the program when it wraps up its operations later this spring."

The city contracted with Roseville, Calif.-based The Gather Inn to manage the facility and its programs, which included social services. Lawrence did not disclose who could operate the sanctuary when it resumes in November. 

Much like the proposed Oak Rose supportive housing project that generated fierce and ongoing opposition and a lawsuit against Elk Grove for its denial by the State of California, the winter sanctuary also met resistance with inflammatory claims. Several people voiced their concerns about the clientele and the effects it would have at Elk Grove city council meetings before it opened (see video below). 

Since operations commenced, there have been no substantive public comments at city council meetings about the clients served by the sanctuary or reports of adverse effects on Old Town-Historic Downtown Elk Grove. 

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