Monday, April 13, 2009

Tent City residents' eviction notices tell them to move to a shelter. What shelter?

According to the eviction notices Tent City residents are getting today, their instructions are to move to shelter – the one at Overflow [aka, Winter shelter at Cal Expo].

But there's no room or next to no room at Overflow! The 154 beds that pre-existed the April 9 expansion have always been taken, or nearly all taken, since Overflow opened on Nov 24. Sometimes those beds were overbooked with men sleeping on couches in the movie room.

The expansion added just fifty more beds. The great majority of those were taken by Tent City immigrants on April 9, leaving just a few – maybe six – that were assigned to the "regular" population of Overflow sheltered. Update: According to a Bee story on 4/14, quoting VOA V.P. Christie Holderegger, fewer than half of the fifty new beds had been taken thus far by former-Tent City people. I got confirmation that the Bee story is correct, SacHo's "great majority" is wrong. My bad.

Here's the text of the eviction notice that Val Jon Farris received, according to his blog for today at the iCare-America website:
ATTENTION:“It is unlawful to camp in the City of Sacramento. It is a violation of Section 12.52.030 of the Sacramento City Code. This location is scheduled for immediate clean-up by the Sacramento Police Department. Any items (or people – my words here) not removed will be considered abandoned and disposed of accordingly. Your immediate attention is required to avoid any loss of property.” (And then hand written in by the officers is this sentence . . .) “MOVE TO SHELTER BY: 4-15-09 WED.”
Val Jon's idea for the 15th is for the Tent City emigrants, and other homeless, to all go to Overflow, en masse, and request the shelter they've been promised. As Farris states it, "Not in opposition to the City, but in accord with them." And overburden the system.

It does seem that the shelters are near capacity today. With or without Farris's scheme/idea, shelters in Sacramento will be overburdened, shortly. And that says something about how little bang for the buck Sacramento City is getting for the million dollars it put together, specifically to take care of the rousted Tent City homeless folks.

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