Skip to main content

Lehr Lead Attorney, Mark Merin, Pleas for End to Roust-and-Ruin Policies in Bee Editorial

“With the safety net long ago shredded – public housing eliminated, community mental health facilities closed – the unemployed and evicted are joining the ranks of the homeless individuals and families who drag their few belongings from one temporary camp to another as law enforcement moves them up and out in a perennial pursuit of a failed policy that promises no rest for the weary, no sanctuary for the homeless in Sacramento County.”
With stirring words, like the above, attorney Mark E. Merin made the case for ‘safe ground’ for Sacramento county homeless folk in a guest editorial published in the Bee. The “My View” editorial, “Tent cities can offer answer to homelessness” appeared the day before the Safe Ground March and rally in César Chávez Park.

Merin is a long-time advocate for the rights of the homeless and is the lead plantiff attorney in a long-simmering class-action lawsuit, Lehr et al v. Sacramento, that seeks compensation for belongings of homeless people confiscated by city and county police, and that presses the city and county for a way out of the roust-and-ruin policies now in place that criminalize homelessness.

Merin wrote for “the immediate need … for a moratorium on citations and arrests for camping and support by the city and county for a new approach [that would allow destitute people to survive in Sacramento].” He specifically called for protected “tent cities” on unutilized land or vacated warehouses that would act as encampments for homeless folk. Other America metropolises have succeeded using this plan, he tells us.

This change in policy would “alleviate the suffering of hundreds,” Merin wrote.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Mission Five Years Ago, And Today

I have spent the night the past two weeks plus at the Union Gospel Mission and am having an excellent time of it -- not only regards to sleeping in the dorm that the mission has, but also listening to the sermons that are delivered in the early evening. The Christmas music that is performed is also splendid. [And the food -- the FOOD -- has been fantastic during my stay so far! A happier Tom there couldn't be.] I chatted with a pal last night about The Mish – about how things were about five years ago when we both used the mission’s services frequently, and how thing are, today.
Five years ago, there were a lot scuffles between the guys when the front gate was opened in the early afternoon and in the area near the contact window there were some brawls as guys fought over where guys were in line to get a bed in the dorm.
Nowadays, however, the mission is very much a peaceful place both on the grounds of the facility and and out on the street.
I do not know what transformative eve…

Homeless Sacramentans lose case that would have given them the right to set up outdoor camping

8/11/13 I certainly give attorneys Mark Merin and Cat Williams credit for pursuing a case against the city of Sacramento to give homeless Sacramentans the right to set up tents and a campsite. I wanted them to win their case, but they didn't. They lost it.

BUT, it is also necessary to look at the particulars of the case that Merin and Williams brought and see that the situation underlying the court case was not very compelling.

During the period eight years ago when 22 homeless campers set up their tents and brought in supplies to Mark Merin's vacant lot at C Street, near 12th, there was loud noise and plenty of other mayhem. Drug dealers were on the street encouraging buys from the campers. The Hernandez couple that lived in a house nearby were constantly being taunted by the campers, disrupting their lives.

Per always with Safe Ground camps, calm was deserted for the sake of boisterousness.

Leader John Kraintz and the other Safe Grounders would claim to have signed strict a…

After a Three-Month Hiatus, a Fall from a Ladder & a Broken Wrist, Evangelist Jimmy Roughton Returns to Union Gospel Mission to Preach

After being away from Union Gospel Mission for a quarter of a year, Jimmy Roughton returned to preach at UGM on the cold night of December 13 -- despite suffering [a little? a lot? dunno.] from a fall from a ladder that likely immediately preceded a significant injury (a wrist that was broken).


It was good to see his group from Capital Free Will Baptist Church up on the pulpit, with Roughton rough-and-ready to seduce and inspire the happily-captivate crowd at UGM.


Roughton told us in his opening words that he was now in his 27th year coming to the mission.

I recall the first preaching I had heard from Roughton on June 13, 2009. At that time and up to the current time, Roughton is the only preacher I had ever heard evoke Pascal's Wager -- which is something he would do, occasionally thereafter at the mission. He would evoke Pascal's wager, yet again, last night [12/13/17].


Pascal's wager

Last night, Jimmy evoked Pascal's Wager. He did so near the end of his talk, citing …