Friday, April 9, 2010

SafeGround seeks land in plan to catch up with Reno Tent City

Reno's Tent City
Joan Burke, Advocacy Director at Loaves & Fishes (and maybe/probably an officer or board member of SafeGround), has sent out a mass-mailed email telling Fishes & Loaves supporters that SafeGround needs land.

In her email, Burke included a link to an online pdf file: "Request for Proposal for Land Development / SafeGround Sacramento, Inc / April 2, 2010." The document calls for a search to identify potential sites for a homeless encampment or community of cottages in Sacramento County.

SafeGround, Sac, wants from two to five acres to accommodate 60 to 100 adults in fifty to eighty cabins or sleeping cottages.

It is believed that the new push for a safe ground encampment or cottage site comes as a result of a recent event: The acceptance of a legal 100-person homeless campground by city officials in Reno, Nevada. The encampment, there, is downtown and in public view.

The second half of a March 27 article in the Reno Gazette-Journal, detailing the new sanctioning of the Reno camp, talks about Sacramento's homeless encampment problems and relative lack of success with politicos here. John Kraintz, identified as president of SafeGround Sacramento, says something to the effect of Reno being ahead of Sacramento in doing something about the homeless problem. [Kraintz is not quoted directly.]

It my understanding that L&F Board Director David Moss, L&F CEO Libby Fernandez and Kraintz, and possibly others, have taken or will be taking a trip to Reno seeking pointers on how SafeGround Sac might duplicate the success seen by the Reno homeless.

Majorities of elected representative on the city council and on the county Board of Supervisors in Sacramento continue in staunch opposition to authorization of a homeless encampment or village.

The Reno encampment will have (if it doesn't already) rules prohibiting drugs, alcohol, open flames, dogs off their leash and messy areas. Residents will be required to attend "community meetings" to create and maintain sanitation policy and security.

A major bar for getting a homeless encampment or other community in Sacramento is the determination by many officials here that a Sacramento homeless community would have to have outside security, which is a colossal expense, relative to the cost of running a community without paying outsiders for security.

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