Riverside Emergency Shelter Cabins For Homeless Set To Open

Homeless Shelter Stays Open in Preparation for Storm- Photographer - KOMUnews
Homeless Shelter Stays Open in Preparation for Storm- Photographer - KOMUnews

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – A cluster of 30 pre-assembled cabins that will provide temporary shelter for Riverside’s homeless will be on display next Wednesday, ahead of their opening to the individuals and families who need them to get off of the streets.
  
The Riverside City Council in December approved nearly $500,000 in appropriations to get the “Emergency Shelter Cabin Village” off of the ground and situated in a former parking lot now known as the Riverside Access Center, adjacent to Path of Life Ministries, at 4800 Hulen Place, just off Massachusetts Avenue, on the east end of the city.
  
The village will be available for public inspection on March 11, when Mayor Rusty Bailey, City Manager Al Zelinka and Councilman Erin Edwards will join representatives from the nonprofit organization CityNet to discuss how the facility will operate.
  
CityNet will manage the village, providing access to transients, beginning the middle of March, officials said.
  
Bailey tested out one of the 70-square-foot wood cabins for singles last year. There are also 120-square-foot units for families.
  
“The city of Riverside is adding this component to its existing array of homeless services to provide a new type of housing for people who are experiencing homelessness and may be averse to a traditional shelter environment, including couples, people with pets, families with children who have aged out of the family shelter, and individuals suffering from post-
traumatic stress disorder,” according to a city statement.
  
Twenty cabins will be permanently installed at the location; 10 are there for the remaining winter period and will be removed during the transition to summer, officials said.
  
Part of the impetus behind the council action was data indicating the city’s documented homeless population is over 400, and yet less than 200 shelter beds are available citywide.
  
In addition to the village, the council voted in December to add 40 beds to existing shelters.
  
The cabins are not intended to be long-term housing, but rather transitional. Qualifying individuals and families will be aided in finding permanent accommodations during their cabin stays, officials said.
  
Riverside has maintained an Office of Homeless Solutions for part of the last decade. Bailey has made ending homelessness among his top priorities.

He will take over as chief executive officer at Path of Life Ministries after leaving office at the end of the year.
  
The Riverside County Department of Public Social Services held its annual countywide homeless census in January, and the results will be forthcoming. The 2019 count identified 2,811 sheltered and unsheltered homeless adults and children across the county, a 21% increase from 2018.

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