Sunday, October 29, 2006

Homeless Shelter

One hopes this shelter is providing those who illegally camp along the river a home, temporary and isolated though it may be.

An excerpt.

Amusement park turned into shelter
Volunteers get building ready to house homeless for winter -- advocates want extended use.
By Jocelyn Wiener - Bee Staff WriterPublished 12:00 am PST Sunday, October 29, 2006

Dead leaves dance across the stained artificial turf at the Paradise Island miniature golf course.

The net over the batting cages is ripped. The water where the bumper boats used to float has turned greenish brown.

Until the amusement park at Cal Expo closed a year ago, children and teenagers would play laser tag and arcade games inside the large warehouse-style building.

Now that sits empty, too.

But soon, it will fill with men, women and children.

Come November, the building will make its debut as a homeless shelter.

The winter overflow shelter operated by Volunteers of America has traditionally been housed in a collection of trailers in a Cal Expo parking lot.

Homeless guests would step over mud puddles to reach the bathroom trailer, eat dinner in the dining trailer and then huddle -- 25 to a dormitory trailer -- for the rest of the night.

Those in wheelchairs or pushing strollers would make their way across the gravel parking lot with difficulty.

Homeless advocates say the new building will be a marked improvement over the old set-up.

The shelter will have space for 154 men, women and children to sleep.

Individual rooms sleep eight or 10.