County opens mobile, temporary shelter for unhoused in North Auburn

Published Feb. 15, 2023

                              Old Encampment                                                                   New Mobile Temporary Shelter

Old encampment at PCGCTent Shelter in Auburn

Placer County has opened a first-of-its-kind mobile, temporary shelter in Auburn to serve local unhoused residents. The low-barrier shelter is located in the Placer County Government Center and consists of approximately 50 heavy-duty tents with cots and basic bedding. The shelter, which opened Tuesday, also has shower and restroom facilities, trash service, drinking water access, and picnic tables. 

Supportive services, such as referrals for drug treatment and housing resources, are available next to the shelter in a county facility that will double as a warming and cooling center during extreme weather. 

“This mobile, temporary shelter will provide structure, services, and opportunities for our unhoused population,” said Placer County Chief Probation Officer Marshall Hopper. “Our Probation Outreach Team will continue to work directly with this population, breaking down barriers, providing hope and second chances.”  

The site is managed 24/7 by First Step Communities, a nonprofit organization with experience managing tent shelters in the City of Sacramento. While drug testing is not required, alcohol and drugs will not be allowed on the premises and weapons will be prohibited. Those who do not abide by health and safety rules will be required to leave.

Board of Supervisors Chair Jim Holmes has been on site regularly during the implementation and said, “This is an investment in our community. It will improve the health and safety of these unhoused individuals and of our neighborhoods and businesses.”

The low-barrier shelter will be governed by a set of simple rules including a curfew of 10 p.m., a restriction on how much property can be stored inside the tent and adherence to quiet hours. In an effort to keep the shelter clean and safe for participants, donations of household items will not be accepted at this time.

The creation of the shelter was part of a settlement agreement with the Law Office of Mark E. Merin, to resolve claims on behalf of unhoused individuals that alleged property loss during the clearing of homeless encampments on county property in the spring of 2022.

As of Wednesday afternoon, approximately 30 individuals had completed the shelter’s intake process. While there are no residency criteria for shelter admittance, the shelter is intended to serve unhoused individuals in the Auburn and North Auburn communities. 

“While this is the first of its kind in Placer County, we hope it serves as a model for our community partners and cities throughout the county,” said District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “Addressing the complex issue of homelessness is going to take a dedicated, collaborative approach.”