Sonora leaders discuss building homeless shelter with few restrictions

[ALEX MACLEAN, Union Democrat]

Rambob said he witnessed such effects while living in El Dorado County, where he was part of a group of volunteers who started a low-barrier shelter called Grace Place that was located at the gym of a church in Placerville  ...

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 ...