SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento homeless individuals seeking shelter during Monday night’s storm can now take cover in city-operated warming centers.
The city declared an emergency to get them open last week after severe weather reportedly turned deadly for the homeless community.READ MORE: Man Dies Following Amador County Sheriff Pursuit
“It’s just a great atmosphere, it’s the best way I can explain it,” Jared Moody said.
Moody is one of the dozens bringing everything he owns inside the main library’s warming center, a week after he survived extreme weather that tore through the city’s homeless encampments.
“It was fierce,” Moody said.
Volunteer groups passed out mats to make the stay indoors even more comfortable.
“It’s amazing,” Show Up’s Mark Lytal said. “So many people.”
Daniel Bowers runs the city of Sacramento Office of Emergency Management, which is tasked with coordinating the operation of two warming centers the city ordered open after extreme storms turned deadly a week ago.READ MORE: California Learns Costly Pandemic Lesson About Hospitals
“This is not a shelter, this is an emergency warming center,” Bowers said. “We want to make sure we have a good security element here to make the guests and staff feel safe.”
Joe Smith is the advocacy director for Loaves and Fishes. He says the death toll in the homeless community from last week’s storm is up to six, an unconfirmed figure. He wants an investigation into the city’s inaction last week.
“We lost lives in a completely preventable manner, and when that happens anywhere in our society, there’s an investigation and there’s accountability,” Smith said.
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Shelter from the storms. Homeless here now have warming center options, after Sacramento’s emergency action to prevent a repeat of another deadly storm.MORE NEWS: Gold Artifacts Stolen In Sacramento History Museum Break-in
These warming centers will stay open from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. for the remainder of the winter.