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Nevada City Didn’t Open Homeless Shelter Despite Below-Freezing Temperatures

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NEVADA CITY (CBS13) — Despite record low temperatures, Nevada City refused to open a shelter for the homeless, and advocates say that’s not the only problem.

Under the city’s guidelines, a warming center is opened at the veterans hall. But the Nevada City city manager says if the hall is rented out, it can’t be used as a homeless shelter.

Todd Saunders has been desperately looking for a warm place to stay as temperatures plummet below freezing.

“You just go and look for a place that’s warm, but sometimes you can’t,” he said.

Janice O’Brien, president of Sierra Roots, a nonprofit for the homeless like Todd, says the city didn’t want the warming center to open.

“I believe the homeless are their residents also, and need to be taken care of,” O’Brien said.

She say city staff knew there would be colder nights coming up and were concerned that veterans hall staff wouldn’t be able to handle the homeless.

Nevada City City Manager David Brennan said he couldn’t talk to CBS13 on camera on Thursday. But he said over the phone that the warming center didn’t open because he’d heard volunteers weren’t prepared to help the homeless for the cold snap this week.

Luckily, the Salvation Army in Grass Valley has stepped up.

“They come around and pick up the homeless and take them to their shelter,” O’Brien said.

Sierra Roots says the city told them they can only use the hall until Jan. 8, where they’ll then revisit the homeless issue.

 

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