A tale of two cities.
The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to approve an ordinance prohibiting homeless encampments within 500 feet of schools and day care centers.
This article was written by Katy Grimes and originally published by California Globe.
Also on Tuesday, a federal judge issued an order forbidding Sacramento police and city officials from clearing homeless tent encampments on public property until Aug. 25.
Several “homeless individuals” and homeless activists filed the lawsuit against the city and county of Sacramento in June seeking the federal court to compel the City and County of Sacramento to open many more buildings as emergency weather shelters in summer temperatures.
Yet many taxpayers ask why it is the responsibility of taxpayers to subsidize drug addicts who illegally live on the streets, in public parks, along the rivers and freeways.
The Los Angeles ordinance amends a city law regulating where homeless encampments can be. Municipal Code 41.18 bans sitting, sleeping, lying or otherwise obstructing the public right of way in multiple areas, Fox News reported.
As for Sacramento’s homeless living on public property, “Judge Troy L. Nunley issued the preliminary injunction Thursday in response to a lawsuit filed by the Sacramento Homeless Union and three unhoused individuals in the U.S. District Court for Eastern California,” the Sacramento Bee reported. “The lawsuit, filed in June, also asks the court to force the city and county to open more homeless cooling centers during the hot Sacramento summer months. The judge did not grant that request.”
Sacramento’s latest smack down is self-inflicted. Not that LA is Shangri-La, but at least the LA City Council addressed the homeless camps near children.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg has been a very busy proponent of providing tiny homes, apartments, renovated motel room and houses for the 11,000 drug-addicted, mentally-ill street vagrants residing on city streets, in parks, along golf courses and freeways.
The Globe recently reported on what was serving only as a respite center for the homeless, with the begrudging approval of the nearby residential neighborhoods, is being turned into an actual shelter, and without the approval of City Council members or the nearby neighborhood groups – primarily because it is so far away from City Hall and from the residents of the city.
Sacramento’s homeless has even surpassed San Francisco’s. “Within the city limits of Sacramento, just over 5,000 unsheltered people… were counted in a new homelessness report, compared with about 4,400 people in San Francisco. But with Sacramento’s population of 525,000 versus San Francisco’s 874,000, that works out to a rate of 952 per 100,000 in Sacramento versus 503 per 100,000 for San Francisco,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported in July.
The City of Sacramento is spending more than $44 million to provide eight homeless shelters and camping options, most not yet built or ready, and three Project Homekey motel conversions, the Globe reported in April. According to city officials, “most of that comes from state and federal grants that are not certain year to year.”
However, the city is creating 1,050 “safe spaces, beds, tiny homes and motel rooms each night” for at least 11,200 homeless – not even a dent in the homeless living on the streets.
In April we also reported, Sacramento County has more than 11,200 homeless living on the streets and in the parks, and all shelter beds and spaces are full on any given night. And those were numbers provided by Sacramento Steps Forward, which received $25,990,012 from the State, and $23,349,292 from the Federal government (above) in 2019-2020. Most of the nearly $50 million was earmarked for housing. They spent nearly $802,000 on “administration.”
But this latest homeless shelter is right next door to the Children’s Receiving Home, a home for children and young adults who have suffered abuse and neglect.
The decision may have been a practical one, given that the city already owns the defunct science center building and nearby neglected properties. “We have a city-owned piece of property and a building that is being underused at the same time that we have more than 9,000 people living unsheltered in Sacramento,” Steinberg said. “I cannot just let this resource lay fallow when so many people need help.”
The “Outreach and Engagement Center soon will be open daily as a place where up to 50 people can come inside regardless of the weather and receive help from social workers, clinicians and housing coordinators,” the City says, “for people experiencing homelessness.”
Nearly $50 million earmarked for housing in Sacramento, and we still have more than 11,000 homeless drug addicts living on the streets? How is this possible? And how is it possible to spend $802,000 on “administration” unless there are some fat salaries and benefits being paid?
It’s as if the Mayor likes the homeless crisis… it is a cash cow that keeps on giving.
The city and county continue to ignore actual successful, proven programs to help change the lives of the homeless, drug addicted and mentally ill. We have several in Sacramento including the Union Gospel Mission and St. John’s Center for Real Change. San Antonio Texas is home to the Haven For Hope, which also has astounding success in getting homeless addicts and mentally ill off the street, triaged and into proper programs for treatment and recovery… Or ongoing treatment.
Here are some of those Sacramento “people experiencing homelessness:”