ROSEVILLE, Calif. — The Roseville City Council is set to discuss a letter of support for The Gathering Inn’s application for a 30-bed respite center in the city Wednesday, based on the agenda.
The city council previously discussed a letter of support at a meeting on July 20, but it was continued to a later meeting.
The Gathering Inn is a nonprofit serving people impacted by homelessness with a vision to end homelessness. It's proposing a 30-bed medical respite center at 300 Elefa Street, depending on site control and funding. A medical respite center cares for people experiencing homelessness who are too ill or injured to recover on the streets but aren't sick enough to be in a hospital.
The proposed center would be an expansion of the current 10-bed medical respite center in Auburn, which has been open since 2009 and serves around 75 people each year.
Ron Arneson, the Director of Interim Care Programs at The Gathering Inn, said they want a letter of support to submit with an application to the Department of Social Services for funding to expand their program.
During public comment, a resident named Marsha said she owns a home on Elfa Street in Roseville where she grew up.
"If sick individuals need services, we agree with that, we have not ever not wanted to help the homeless... we have two transitional housing that are in our area already that are well known and are used by The Gathering Inn. So we, as a neighborhood, don't want to hurt the homeless, this is a good idea... just not in this area," Marsha said at the meeting.
Heidi Knost said she is on the board of the Los Cerritos neighborhood Association and has lived in the neighborhood since 1997.
"We respectfully request that the city council does not offer support to The Gathering Inn's expansion until The Gathering Inn meets the standard process to hold informational meetings to the neighborhood as is required as the city of Roseville," Knost said at the meeting.
Kevin Lachance, the president of Roseville Coalition of Neighborhood Associations, said he and two other people went to a presentation. Although Lachance said he sat down with The Gathering Inn and had his questions answered, he wants other people to have the same opportunity.
"My suggestion, if council is willing to maybe table this consideration for what is before them at this moment until that, basically meeting can happen and all of our residents can actually have their questions and concerns addressed by them," Lachance said at the meeting.
Several other people spoke out against the letter of support for The Gathering Inn, citing the nearby school and daycare. The Gathering Inn said on July 20 at that point they had not reached out to the school district Others asked for the item to be tabled citing a lack of community outreach.
A man named Ruben spoke at the meeting and said he was at a shelter for a couple of years. It was the help of The Gathering Inn that made it possible for him to recover.
"It was life-changing. I had a lot of emotional problems I had a really up-and-down life where it drew me to that facility. I did a lot of growing up there," Ruben said at the meeting.
Another man named Steve said he was at The Gathering Inn's facility in Auburn and said the people at these facilities are people with serious medical conditions. He said the people in these programs are not the same people breaking into houses.
The city council decided on July 20 to delay the item to a later meeting.
Watch the full July 20 meeting here:
Watch more on ABC10: California Heat Wave | Chance of rolling blackouts, people asked to conserve power