County Could Fund Temporary Placerville Homeless Shelter

A homeless encampment in New York. Courtesy Brendan Sheehan. Licensed under Creative Commons:

El Dorado County could pay the city of Placerville $18,500 to fund a day shelter for the area’s homeless population during the winter.

Citing concerns about safety, inclement weather and the temporary nature of the project, the Placerville City Council last month shut down Hangtown Haven, a tent city on Broadway. The temporary encampment, given a year’s approval in October 2012, was likely the only legalized and self-regulated homeless encampment in the state, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider a request from Placerville officials to fund a day shelter for $4,100 a month. The shelter would welcome the homeless through March 31, at a total cost of about $18,500.

“As part of our transition from [Hangtown Haven] we have been working on a potential Day Shelter to work in conjunction with the currently operating Nomadic Shelter,” Placerville City Manager Cleve Morris said in a letter to the supervisors. “The Day Shelter will provide a location to be out of the weather, as well as have access to computers and other resources. We continue to work out logistics to make this happen.”

Hangtown Haven’s city approval officially ended on Nov. 15, and no one is allowed to camp there overnight. Organizers have until Jan. 14 to dismantle the camp. They’re currently asking for donations, saying they still need to operate their van and will likely need to pay to look for a new location.

Aside from problems with its county approval, Hangtown Haven irked some Placerville residents. The number of homeless people from outside the area increased during its operation, according to the Mountain Democrat, and some residents complained of an increase in crime in the area.

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors will discuss paying for the Placerville homeless shelter at its 8 a.m. meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 330 Fair Lane in Placerville.

(Photo caption:¬†A homeless encampment in New York. Courtesy Brendan Sheehan. Licensed under Creative Commons:[email protected]/3140104226/)

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