By Antonio R. Harvey | OBSERVER Staff Writer
Sacramento Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby, in partnership with the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA) and Jamboree Housing Corporation, have put together their own siting unhoused plan.
Last week, the collaborators announced plans for a homeless housing project, a conversion of a hotel, in Ashby’s Council District 1. Staybridge Suites in Natomas is the property that will be converted into a shelter for unhoused women with children and families.
The hotel was secured with a purchase and sale agreement to move forward.
“I am proud of our staff who have been working diligently to find an appropriate hotel in District 1 for the past year — we never lost focus on our goal of providing families with safe and secure housing,” stated Ashby, also the council representative for District 1. “This is the type of service-rich project we need across the City of Sacramento.”
SHRA and Jamboree Housing Corporation will also be working closely with the Natomas Unified School District to ensure the students receive a quality education and that the cycle of homelessness is broken for children.
The project will be “service-rich,” the trio insists, to accommodate families with resident services and staff. The converted hotel will be part of the 20-plus sites the city of Sacramento plans to use to combat homelessness.
“Through the leadership and support of Mayor Pro Tem Ashby and the city council, the success of this first Homekey project in District 1 exemplifies the critical importance of public-nonprofit partnerships and resources,” said SHRA Executive Director La Shelle Dozier. “We’re excited to help bring this homeless housing solution to fruition.”
Homekey is an innovative partnership between the City and County of Sacramento and the State of California to purchase and rehabilitate hotels and motels. The properties are converted into permanent, long-term living arrangements for unhoused people.
Homekey builds upon Project Roomkey, which quickly housed individuals and families experiencing homelessness to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Ms. Ashby actually announced her plans to provide a location for the unhoused on Aug. 10 when the City Council approved the city-wide comprehensive plan for homeless housing solutions.
Each member of the City Council has been identifying properties in their districts that could accommodate more beds, roofs, and safe spaces.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg asked councilmembers to drum up a range of short- and long-term solutions that include organized outdoor camping and safe parking sites with services, shelters, tiny homes and permanent supportive housing.
Officials estimate the comprehensive plan is expected to house up to 10,000 people who are suffering from housing hardships.
Quietly, for over a year, Ms. Dozier, SHRA, and Ms. Ashby have had conversations with Jamboree Housing Corporation, an affordable housing developer with 30 years of experience in residential development, about the conversion of a hotel in District 1 that meets all the criteria for Project Homekey funding.
As the only woman on the Sacramento City Council for most of her career, Ms. Ashby, a former low-income single mom, said the site is a “functional zero model” where the city prioritizes a “families-first approach” to the homelessness crisis in Sacramento.
City Council District 1 includes the neighborhoods of Alkali Flats, Downtown, Richards Boulevard, South Natomas, Northgate, and North Natomas.