Pacific Gas and Electric offices sit on one side of the property, while an RV retailer occupies the opposite side. Directly across the street is Cherry Blossom Assisted Living and Yuba Skilled Nursing Home and houses are on each side and directly behind the facilities.
The closest house to where the shelter will be built is approximately 155 yards and the closest assisted living facility is approximately, 50 yards away.
During multiple committee and board meetings over the past month, community members voiced their concerns with the shelter being built in a densely residential area.
In November 2017, the Sutter County Board of Supervisors adopted a long-term homeless management plan, prior to the approval of the Live Oak Blvd. location on Sept. 11, 2018. On Jan. 8, the Board of Supervisors approved to apply for grant funding to support the implementation and operation of the temporary homeless shelter.
The shelter will be at the location for as long as it’s needed and Sutter County’s interim top administrator Steve Smith said the county received a proposal from the Salvation Army to staff and run the facility.
The county would supply the human services side of the operation, with the Salvation Army monitoring on-site needs.
Smith said the goal is to eventually turn it over to an organization that can manage it fully.
Sutter County public information officer Chuck Smith said the county’s goal is to have all costs funded through grants, without the use of any general fund money.
With previous costs from the general fund associated with staffing and a $300,000 river cleanup, Chuck Smith said a lot has already been used for ways to aid and improve the homeless situation.
The location is longterm for stability, but the homeless community that will use the facility will have short-term, temporary stays to help them get back on their feet.
The board’s management plan addressed occupancy to cap 60 people at the most, but not at the inception of the shelter, and no more than 90 continuous days of stay.
“It is the intent to work with these individuals to find alternative, full-time housing during that threemonth period,” Chuck Smith said. “It is not the intent of the shelter to allow individuals to leave after 90 days just to return.”
Chuck Smith said having facilities for singles
and families to stay allows for the county to enforce a no camping ordinance.
Sacramento consultant Scott Thurmond has been working with the homeless population for the past 28 years. His first job out of college was in Yolo County working in homeless services and eligibility.
Since then, he has opened a consulting agency and continues to help counties in the region.
For Sutter County, he helps oversee the planning of the shelter site, helps to address any questions or concerns from the community and looks at
funding opportunities for infrastructure and operations.
“I help the county strategically plan on issues related
to homelessness and specifically the homeless shelter, but this is just one of the components I assist with,” Thurmond said.