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Tuolumne County Leaders Detail Pallet Shelter Plans

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Jamestown, CA — Around 50 were on hand at a meeting this morning focused on plans for a pallet shelter community at the Jamestown Mine Site property on High School Road.

We reported earlier that the board of supervisors approved plans (4-1) on August 2 to designate the site for the construction of small shelters for homeless residents.  Of the 50 in attendance this morning, many were county government employees, who set up informational booths. Representatives were on hand from the County Administrator’s Office, Health and Human Services, Public Works, Community Development, and others. Sheriff Bill Pooley, and supervisors David Goldemberg and Ryan Campbell, were also in attendance.

Tuolumne County’s Homeless Services Coordinator, Michael Roberson, gave a brief introduction at 8am from the site (parking lot on High School Road) that will be used to house the pallet shelters. There were a couple of residents who voiced concerns to Roberson about the location. He welcomed those in attendance to stop by the booths to learn more information and indicated he would be happy to discuss any concerns people have, individually.

The event was pretty low-key from there, and people mingled around and spoke to the various officials, and gave input.

Clarke Broadcasting later asked Roberson about the feedback received, and he commented, “There has been good input. I think there are people who are gaining a better understanding of what we would expect to happen here in terms of 24/7 onsite management (hiring an outside company), and some of the expectations for people who would be living here, and what those agreements could look like.”

He also noted that an online survey has been on the county’s website for about a week and has gained a lot of feedback.

District One Supervisor David Goldemberg also received much input from those at the meeting. He told Clarke Broadcasting, “Obviously there has been a lot of public concerns over the site, but we have to do something. For all too long, the county has, quite honestly, been remiss, in not addressing the homeless issue to the extent we need to happen.”

He continued, “Nobody wants to have it in their backyard, and I respect and understand that. But, we would be remiss not to take steps to work on this.”

Goldemberg estimates there are around 700 to 1,000 people living unsheltered in the county.

Residents in Jamestown have also raised concerns to board members ranging from potential crime to the increased number of people who would be walking on Highway 108. The supervisors’ public hearing this month to approve the project spanned several hours with various issues voiced.

Tuolumne County is planning to construct 30 Pallet Shelters (small cabins) that can house 1-2 people per unit (among other amenities at the site). They can be assembled in an hour, and will have a locking door, bed, shelves, a charging port, heat, and air conditioning. The cost to get the project up and running is around $610,000. Additional money will be needed to operate the facility, and county officials have indicated that they are still assessing those costs. They are hoping that potential grant dollars can help.

A second meeting, with the same format, is scheduled for 5:30pm today (August 31) at the site on High School Road in Jamestown.

  • Location of Planned High School Road Jamestown Pallet Shelter Community
  • Jamestown Pallet Shelter Community Meeting