Home>Articles>Sacramento City Council Pressured by Residents to Get Homeless off the Sidewalks and Streets

Homeless guy sleeping on the golf course, while golfers play through, in Sacramento. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

Sacramento City Council Pressured by Residents to Get Homeless off the Sidewalks and Streets

Huge homeless camps block sidewalks, businesses and even school entrances

By Katy Grimes, August 22, 2022 11:04 am

The Sacramento City Council announced that it will discuss at Tuesday’s council meeting whether to bar homeless encampments from blocking sidewalks and building entrances.

There are huge homeless camps blocking sidewalks, businesses and even school entrances. And business owners are fearful and feel helpless with no city support. The homeless in Sacramento are pretty much allowed to live wherever they want in encampments and open air drug markets blocking sidewalks and business entrances. One local group says “police do not prioritize the enforcement of infractions, but if obstructing sidewalks becomes a misdemeanor, the police will start to intervene.”

Sacramento homeless camp on city sidewalk. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

A city ordinance would allow the city to order people to move if they are blocking building entrances or if they are preventing a four-foot wide path on sidewalks, the Sacramento Bee reports. “For the city’s smaller sidewalks, that would ban camps entirely.”

The Council and Mayor Steinberg are feeling the heat from residents to do something about the growing homeless population, who live on Sacramento’s streets, in front of businesses, under freeways, along rivers, in public parks, along golf courses, and increasingly, along sidewalks.

Sacramento County officials killed a long-planned proposal to create a downtown shelter that would have housed 300 homeless people, the Sacramento Bee reported Monday.

Some say the shelter proposal was far too expensive: $50 million — just for the real estate purchase and rehab of the facility for this use, and would only accommodate up to 300 beds.

That’s $166,666 per bed, just for the property purchase. Add in the costs to build and the $3.3 million a year operating costs for the downtown site, and the per-bed price escalates.

And again, there are over 11,000 homeless living in Sacramento. County and City officials may have their differences on how to handle this crisis, but as they quibble, the homeless population  and related crime continues to grow.

Sacramento homeless camp on city sidewalk blocking businesses. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

Mayor Darrell Steinberg follows the failed Obama-era “housing first” policy, rather than the successful “triage-first” policy of the San Antonio Haven for Hope policy. “Housing first” spends millions of taxpayer dollars on motel renovations, tiny homes, renovated apartments, rather than diagnosis and mandatory treatment.

“This was was something we worked on for months,” City Councilwoman Katie Valenzuela, who represents downtown, said during a council meeting last month. “We did site visits … we had funding plans developed, we were working on strategy,” the Bee reported.

Homeless sleeping on running trail in Wm. Land Park, Sacramento. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

As for Valenzuela, she’s targeted for recall by residents in her former and current council districts. “For A Better Sacramento, A Committee To Recall Katie Valenzuela 2022” has been gathering signatures over some very specific beefs with Valenzuela.

“Why recall council member Katie Valenzuela?” they ask. “Katie Valenzuela’s solutions have been just to move encampments from one place to another throughout our neighborhoods like Miller Park, Sutter’s Landing and many others, bringing with them drugs, crime, human fecal matter, rats, debris and highly communicable diseases such as Hepatitis A. Under Valenzuela’s watch, our streets, sidewalks, parks and overpasses have only become more dangerous for our most vulnerable, even resulting in an assault on a mother in a park and the murder of a woman and her two dogs in her home, her home then set ablaze.”

And there is more from the recall group:

“Please join us in helping Katie find a new job where she isn’t responsible for protecting Sacramentans from crime,” For A Better Sacramento said.

Touché.

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6 thoughts on “Sacramento City Council Pressured by Residents to Get Homeless off the Sidewalks and Streets

  1. Noticed a few days ago that the City has set up a portable toilet, hand-washing station and dumpster on the north side of East Portal Park in East Sacramento. All of this is wedged in between private homes and a little league baseball field. The City never queried residents about whether they wanted it OR if it’s even needed – as there is a permanent public restroom within 50 feet. The area has a few vagrants from time to time, but as the saying goes: If you build it, they will come.
    Mayor Darrell Steinberg and the Council may regard this action as some sort of solution, but it just shows muddled thinking. Steinberg needs to go, and Sacramentans need to come to grips with the fact that “progressives” are not making the city better.

    1. Bminks East Sac. is a “progressive” bastion, remember all the BLM yard signs while our Country was being attacked? I was amazed and saddened. I’m a 40 yr. East Sac. resident

  2. Follow Governor Abbott’s lead. Bus the bums to the pocket area and to the front of the gated bedroom communities of Elk Grove, Eldorado and Placer counties. Where all the progressives live, far from the stench, but derive their government pay from Sacramento.
    Keep their feet to the fire Katy!

  3. Sounds to me like pressure from Katy Grimes’ and The Globe’s coverage and the efforts of For a Better Sacramento put this on the Sacramento City Council agenda. Break a leg to all residents for increased pressure on Tuesday! Hope there is a big showing of residents, now that they are “allowed” to attend, and that none of the council’s endless and unnecessary “Covid Theatrics” are allowed to intrude somehow. Gee, guess we know now why they are still doing that nonsense, don’t we?
    Bonus points for A Better Sacramento gearing up to recall that commie reprobate Katie Valenzuela. God bless you guys! Will be thinking of you all and looking to see what happens from this meeting. Even if I have to read between the lines of any “obligatory” coverage at the Sac Bee.

  4. Maybe Democrat Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Democrat council member Katie Valenzuela need to have a homeless encampments established in front of their residences? Nothing will happen with the homeless issue until the Democrat cabal that controls Sacramento are personally affected?

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