The City of Sacramento opened its first “safe ground” site in July of 2021 in a parking lot near W and Sixth streets in downtown Sacramento.
The site, adjacent to the W/X portion of the Capital City Freeway, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can host approximately 100-150 people experiencing homelessness. The lot has two distinct spaces: One is for tent camping; the other is for safe parking for vehicles.
The site, which is staffed around the clock, offers port-a-potties and cleaning stations. Case managers work out of trailers on site, providing support for mental-health needs and substance-use disorders as well as housing coordination.
Between July and November of 2021, 500 people have been served at this location with 134 exiting into positive situations. That includes reunification with family, indoor shelters, supportive housing etc.
Everyone utilizing the safe ground site is entered into the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), connecting them with additional service providers in the area.
This site was scheduled to close at the end of 2021, however, Caltrans is continuing to work on the freeway in the location and there is leeway to leave the site open for a few more months. This would allow people to remain in place through the winter season. As of November, 2021, the closure date remains fluid.