Proposed Warm Room location sparks concern among some South Lake Tahoe residents
South Lake Tahoe City Council is moving forward with negotiations for the short-term, one-time lease of a city-owned building to the Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless.
The coalition hopes to use the former Unity at the Lake Church for its seasonal homeless shelter, the Warm Room. The building is located at 1195 Rufus Allen Blvd., across from the South Lake Tahoe Recreation Complex.
At the meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 12, a number of residents from the bordering neighborhood expressed concern about the building’s proximity to residencies, school bus pickups, rec center, and the Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe. Coalition Executive Director Dr. Marissa Muscat proposed solutions to these concerns, such as hiring security or changing shelter hours so as not to coincide with school pickups.
Many residents also attended the meeting to speak out in support of the shelter, which averaged 27 guests per night last season.
The city has future plans to use the building for recreational purposes, so this lease would be a one-time tenancy of four months.
Muscat noted that the organization has experienced difficulty securing a location for its third season due to competition in the rental market. A long-term lease is not possible for the young organization, which only operates during the winter months.
Council requested the formation of a subcommittee, including members from the coalition, Lake Tahoe Unified School District and Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe, to discuss and mitigate community concerns about the shelter’s location.
The lease is contingent on the subcommittee coming to an agreement.