Skip to main content

Bee endorses tent encampments

Picture of a Sacramento campsite which appeared with the online edition of the Bee editorial.
The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board says “Give tent city a try.”

In robust support of an experiment to see if the establishment of tent encampments can work in Sacramento - as they have in Seattle, Portland and Phoenix - the editorial board of the Bee wrote in Sunday’s edition of the newspaper that “a tent city provides an immediate answer to an immediate problem. It is a humane, if imperfect, response to one piece of the homeless puzzle."

Here, a snip from the heart of what the board had to say,
...a legalized tent city is controversial. Strip away concerns over location, and one is left with an ethical quandary: Is it acceptable for society to sanction people living in tents and makeshift structures? Should Sacramento be condoning a Hooverville?

These important questions need to be balanced with others: Is it acceptable for authorities to keep rousting the homeless from illegal encampments, month after month? Would a sanctioned encampment be a more humane alternative? Would it possibly reduce the problems caused by illegal encampments along the American River and other places? …

Tent cities should not be seen as an end-all to problems of illegal camping and destitution. Equal effort must be devoted toward affordable housing, mental health services and strategies to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.
The editorial also gave special mention to Dignity Village in Portland, Oregon. It said that that self-run homeless camp was "clean, orderly and safer than living on the streets." Dignity Village is self-governing, elects its own board, determines rules and bylaws, and directly interacts with service providers.

In an article in last Thursday's Bee, both the police captain and Sacramento's new mayor expressed tentative support for the encampment idea. Capt. Dana Matthis said "What we are doing now is not working, so let's take a hard look at other options." Mayor Kevin Johnson said, "I don't know if [establishing a tent encampment] is something every city should do, but it's certainly something our city should be looking at."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

More Homeless Hate from Marcos Breton

There was a long spell a handful of years ago when Marcos Breton said something so fully ridiculous in one of his hateful screeds against homeless folk that it appeared to be very apparent he had been taken off the Homeless Beat by his superiors. Unhappily, after a few months, Breton was again writing disparaging columns about homeless folk

In today's Bee [3/5/17], Breton has written one of his longest columns. Online, it is titled "The price downtown Sacramento is paying for Mayor Steinberg’s homeless crusade
"
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/marcos-breton/#storylink= It goes on for days. The message, essentially, is this: Homeless people poop; they're getting a great deal of what they want from the overmuch-helpful mayor; and business people proximate to Chavez Park are made miserable by the forever-disgusting homeless that are there in great number.

O.K. Let's get into all this a bit. Except in Breton's mind, homeless pe…

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…

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…