Last week, large homeless encampment of 160 RVs, campers, trailers, vans and cars, was cleared from a North Sacramento industrial area, the Globe reported. Crews towed RVs, trailers and cars away. GoodDay Sacramento has video, and it’s not pretty.
Almost immediately, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Councilwoman Katie Valenzuela expressed their disappointment, criticizing the clean up.
Mayor Steinberg went so far as to include this issue on the City Council weekly Agenda Tuesday evening, Dec. 14, 2021 (tonight), but it’s not what most think – Steinberg wants to prohibit the City from towing a homeless vehicle unless the City can offer the occupants shelter, housing, or a designated location where they can park.
Lining many streets in Sacramento are battered old RVs, campers and trailers, vans, and passenger vehicles, which have become homes for many of the city’s transients. Despite spending millions on futile “solutions” like tiny homes, FEMA trailers, and renovated hotel rooms for the city’s growing homeless population, it’s only grown to more than 11,000 transients living on Sacramento streets.
From tonight’s Sacramento City Council agenda, item #37:
|37.||Mayor’s Proposed City Council Resolution on Protocols for Encampment Enforcement Actions (Oral Report) [TO BE DELIVERED] File ID: 2021-01472|
|Recommendation: Discuss and adopt a Resolution establishing a Council Policy on Protocols and Procedures to be followed when addressing encampment enforcement in the City.
Contact: Mayor Darrell Steinberg, (916) 808-5300, Office of the Mayor
However, there are no details yet in the Mayor’s proposed protocols for dealing with the growing vehicle encampments – that’s what “To Be Delivered” means. And as we noted, no one is talking about where the homeless are dumping their waste from these RVs, campers and trailers. It’s horrific enough to see transients defecating on a sidewalk in front of a business or restaurant, but the line of RVs under the freeways downtown have been dumping their waste in the storm drains. And they’ve been dumping their waste in the Point West area in the storm drains. And along the Jackson Highway, at the city’s municipal golf courses and near the Executive airport. Where are the environmentalists?
The link to correspondence on this agenda item is far more important than anything — 63 pages of letters from city residents and business owners expressing their dismay and disgust of Mayor Steinberg’s homeless policies, or rather, lack thereof.
Here are excerpts from several letters submitted to the City:
“We are truly disturbed by the news of upcoming Council Vote to prohibit the enforcement of traffic laws and parking regulations on people experiencing homelessness. While we all feel compassionate about this difficult experience of not having a home – establishing a separate group of people that do not have to follow the law is NOT a reasonable answer. Same traffic / parking laws and regulations that apply to me and my law-abiding family MUST be enforced equally on any other citizen – whether he or she are wealthy or experiencing homelessness; we all were created equal as stated in our constitution you have sworn to protect. Allowing a group of people to ignore the laws and regulations created to establish orderly ways of our society is disturbing and counter-productive as it will move them further outside of our social network and will further increase the adverse effects to our streets and neighborhoods.”
“At some point, City leadership needs to consider the welfare of its tax paying citizens.”
“Our neighborhood has seen an increase in vandalism and our company has had our fences cut and items taken from our yard area in recent months. On top of that when they do leave there is always a pile of garbage and remains left behind. We have been in business in Sacramento for 75 years and the lack of attention by the Council is very disturbing. It has become an embarrassment to Sacramento.”
“On Memorial Day a motor home that the homeless were living in caught fire under the Silver Eagle over pass. the garbage was as high as the motorhome! The fire department have been out several times over the past few years due to the homeless starting fires. 3 in the past year at the vacant lot, 3500 Western avenue and one on the vacant lot on South which ended up burning on to our property causing over 100,000 worth of damages, Now our Insurance company is going to cancel us. Is this fair that we pay a lot of property taxes to be afraid to walk down our street for fear of the homeless?”
Property managers said by allowing RV’s or other vessels to be placed long term on public streets affect tenants and businesses negatively. Tenant’s have seen an uptick in crime where vehicles were being used as housing.
Most of the correspondence said that homeless encampments have led to an increase in crime everywhere they are allowed. Residents are fed up, and they say they are also fed up with the City not enforcing the laws on illegal camping, illegal dumping, the mountains of trash, crime, drugs, and the fear unpredictable drug-addicted homeless transients cause in neighborhoods and businesses.
Someone may want to ask the Mayor tonight where all of the homeless RV toilet waste is going.
Here’s how to participate in the City Council meeting (tonight) Dec. 14, 2021:
Join this meeting via Zoom:
Webinar ID: 983 1698 1872
Dial in via telephone: 888 788 0099 (Toll Free) – Meeting ID: 983 1698 1872 ##
How to Watch or Listen to City Council:
City Council meetings are broadcast live on Metrocable, Channel 14, AT&T Broadband Cable System and/or rebroadcast on the Saturday following the date of the meeting. The live meeting broadcast on Metro Cable channel 14 can also be heard free on KUBU radio, 96.5 FM. Live video streams and indexed archives of meetings are available via the City’s official website at: https://meetings.cityofsacramento.org.