Homeless Hospice Facility Eyes City Land

Rendering of sample pre fab home purchased by Joshua’s House Hospice. / Source: Facebook Post

BY BRANDY TUZON BOYD
THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

After five years of fundraising and searching, Joshua’s House Hospice may find a home in Natomas.

Preliminary talks are now underway to determine whether the residential hospice care facility can be built on a portion of the city-owned parcel located at 3630 Larchwood Drive.

Councilmember Jeff Harris introduced the Larchwood Drive site for Joshua’s House Hospice during a May 11 meeting on the city’s master plan to address homelessness.

Harris pointed to his original proposal to create a transitional housing community for women and children on a portion of the same parcel in 2020. But Harris said that proposal could not succeed after the Twin Rivers Unified School District publicly withdrew its support.

Joshua’s House Hospice originally planned to locate in the River District, but the historic building proved too difficult — and costly — to rehabilitate, Harris said. The nonprofit then pivoted to a space on Stockton Boulevard, but that did not work out, he said.

“I am here proposing that we do a homeless hospice use on the northernmost property shown,” said Harris, adding he had just come up with the idea for the Larchwood Drive site a week prior to the May 11 meeting.

As proposed, the residential facility would house and provide end-of-life care for up to 15 terminally ill individuals experiencing homelessness.

“Outreach will certainly ensue, but it’s a great project I hope to move forward,” Harris said at the meeting.

Earlier this week Joshua’s House Hospice executive director Marlene von Friederichs-Fitzwater posted on social media that the nonprofit had purchased four manufactured houses on Thursday and finalized a site plan for the Larchwood Drive location.

“Joshua’s House Hospice is on its way to opening by the end of the year or early in 2022!” von Friederichs-Fitzwater wrote in the post. “Five years of hard work and lots of prayers are paying off!”

The post also included an image showing the four prefab homes on property bound by Northgate Boulevard, Patio Avenue and Larchwood Drive. It showed plans for a common area courtyard, landscaping and parking as well as siting of two buildings to be added in the future.

The image has since been removed from the post, but had already logged three dozen comments, been shared more than a dozen times and reacted to by nearly 100 people, including former city Councilmember Steven Hansen.

But, Councilmember Harris said that post was premature.

“We are still determining feasibility,” said Harris. “The next step is community outreach.”

Harris told The Natomas Buzz his staff is in the process of scheduling a meeting with the Gardenland Northgate Neighborhood Association and South Natomas United community groups which have expressed interest in how the city-owned site adjacent to Northgate Boulevard is used in the future. The meeting would also be open to the public, he said.

When reached for comment Friday von Friederichs-Fitzwater said the proposal had still to go through the city’s approval process.

“It’s been a long project and a long time getting to this point,” she said. “I am happy where we are and hope to open early next year.”

Harris represents Northgate, Gardenland, most of South Natomas and other neighborhoods in the city on the Sacramento City Council.

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