News

Salinas, Monterey County leaders take steps to address homelessness

Salinas Monterey County leaders take...

SALINAS, Calif. - UPDATE 7/18/2017 5:35 p.m.:

Leaders with Monterey County and the city of Salinas are taking steps to address homelessness. On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved two locations that will serve as short and long term shelters.

The permanent facility will be on 1220 Natividad Road. The existing building on the property can hold 35 people, but it sits on two and a half acres on land, so it can be expanded. They say it is centrally located to essential services.

"When you look at the 1220 Natividad site, that location is close to services at Natividad Medical Center and the health department,” Elliott Robinson, director of the Department of Social Services said. “It is on that Natividad campus, so that was one of the ideals that we look for. It's also on county property, so that's another ideal.”

Costs to rehabilitate the property could be more than $3 million. While it will not be ready in time for this winter, supervisors approved a temporary site. The facility on 321 North Main Street can house up to 100 people, however there are issues that need to be addressed, including fire code issues and community concerns. They hope to lease that building for a year or two, while construction on the permanent facility is completed.

"This is a testament to our commitment to helping our most vulnerable, our poorest residents have the services they deserve and it could not have happened without the help of a lot of partners," Supervisor Luis Alejo said. "I'm glad we're doing this with the city of Salinas, our local business associations, our non-profits, like Community Foundation, and certainly the homeless providers that we're going to do something that I think Salinas and Monterey County will really be proud of."

During public comment, members of the public spoke. That included a little boy named Nathaniel Ashland. He and his mother have been homeless for months. They were staying at the warming shelter on West Market, but are now staying in a hotel paid for by the Homeless Resource Center. His mother, Joan Sassman, said the unanimous decision gives her hope.

"I'm glad they're going to use a temporary solution and work towards a permanent solution for families to have a place to go because there is no place for us to go," Sassman said.

ORIGINAL POST:

Leaders with Monterey County and the city of Salinas are taking steps to address homelessness.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a location for a permanent year round homeless shelter. However, the facility on 1220 Natividad Road will not be ready for the upcoming winter, so supervisors also approved a temporary site. The facility on 321 North Main Street can house up to 100 people, however there are issues that need to be addressed, including fire code issues and community concerns. They hope to lease that building for a year or two, while construction on the permanent facility is completed.

"This is a testament to our commitment to helping our most vulnerable, our poorest residents have the services they deserve and it could not have happened without the help of a lot of partners," Supervisor Luis Alejo said. "I'm glad we're doing this with the city of Salinas, our local business associations, our non-profits, like Community Foundation, and certainly the homeless providers that we're going to do something that I think Salinas and Monterey County will really be proud of."

Right now the existing facility only has room for 35 people. It could be expanded to house more and add additional services for people in need.
 

KION's Mariana Hicks has the story at 5 p.m. 

 


comments powered by Disqus