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Emergency shelter cabins for homeless people set to open in Riverside

A Riverside mother of five, formerly homeless, and on the streets for three years was among those showing up Wednesday morning in Riverside to celebrate the city's unveiling of 30 new cabins for homeless people.

"I wish they had this when I was homeless with my kids, because we slept in the car," said Kaneesa Gobolt.

The city first considered the emergency shelter cabin village plan in January, and the city council soon approved the funding to purchase 20 of the units.

The manufacturer, Pallet, donated 10 more.

"Riverside is addressing homelessness head on. It's not running away from it. It's running toward it," said Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey.

The site, which includes separate bathroom facilities is set up just off Massachusetts Avenue, where many of the city's homeless people congregate and set up tents.

The village, which comes with 24 hour security 7 days week, will be run by City Net, a non-profit group working to end street-level homelessness.

"This is not just a government problem. This is a societal issue that we have to fix," said Mayor Bailey.

The 64-square-foot units feature two beds, air conditioning and heating and even come with their own keys.

To live in them, homeless people must first apply and pass a screening.

"I think this is a really good thing for Riverside. I think we can really use this help for our homeless community," said Gobolt.

The CEO for Pallet tells News Channel 3 Riverside is the first Southern California city to use its cabins.

65 cabins are set up in Sonoma County..

In addition to the cabins, the city is adding 40 new beds to its homeless shelter, all with the aim of ending homelessness.

Amy King, the founder and CEO for Pallet says currently there are no plans to bring the shelters to the Coachella Calley.

She hopes that changes soon.

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Tom Tucker

Tom Tucker is a veteran broadcast journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. Learn more about Tom here.


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