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Sonora leaders discuss building homeless shelter with few restrictions

THE UNION DEMOCRAT | Local advocates envision a shelter in the City of Sonora where homeless people can come at night to get a meal and sleep safely, all without the expectation of sobriety and other requirements that can prevent many from seeking help.

The concept, known as the “low-barrier model,” has proven to be successful in other places that have implemented it, such as Iowa City, Iowa, where a nonprofit group has opened a low-barrier shelter during winter for the past three years.

Crissy Canganelli, executive director of Shelter House, said the winter shelter that her group operates in Iowa City typically houses between 26 to 32 people per night while it’s open from December through mid-March.

Canganelli said that the Iowa City Police Department has reported a 67 to 74 percent decrease in the number of vagrancy calls over the past three years. There has also been a decline in the incarceration rate and number of emergency-room visits for issues like frostbite.

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.uniondemocrat.com/localnews/5915119-151/sonora-leaders-discuss-building-homeless-shelter-with-few

Alex MacLean at amaclean@uniondemocrat.com or (209) 588-4530. Published Jan. 12, 2018 at 05:39PM

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