Skip to main content

A Safe Ground community, comin' soon?

Safe Ground logo
The group “Safe Ground, Sacramento” may finally get a plot of ground that is safe for the creation of a Safe Ground homeless camp or village of some sort. City Council members – several of them, at least – and the Sac Bee Editorial Board have given their winks and nods of encouragement to suggest that after eight years in the wilderness, formerly-unsheltered homeless people will have a community where they can exist without being hassled by the police.

The particulars about the community – what it will be like; how it will be run; where it will be; whether it will be temporary – are all matters to be worked out. Everything is in the air at this point, but the Safe Ground Board, in the person of Attorney Mark Merin, let it be known a couple weeks ago that SG would like to push things along such that many determinations – including choosing many of the homeless people who will be initial inhabitants of the community – will be made before the end of April.  Members of the Sacramento City Council’s homeless subcommittee suggested at a meeting on the evening of Leap Year Day that their timeline was less expedient.

For my part, if the City Council is wanting to “do this thing,” the quicker the better. I do think that it must be mandatory that housed citizens who reside proximate to where the first legal/authorized Safe Ground will be -- and nearby business owners, too -- must be given a chance to have their say about the matter.  I think that these housed citizens and business owners may have very valid concerns about the value of their property taking a dive or seeing a decline in customers. Everything should be done to prevent the Safe Ground camp/village from being a blight.  Likely the community/camp should be given a limited period of time in its initial location – say, two years – before it is moved elsewhere.

The Sacramento Bee Board Editorial on Friday suggested that Safe Ground exist just as a pilot program for the summer, limited to a few dozen adult campers in tents. The Board Ed said, as well, that “drugs and alcohol should be banned inside the camp, but pets should be allowed. Sex offenders and people who are prone to violence also should be banned.”

At any camp where there are no children, I don’t see the need to ban sex offenders. The Marcos Breton fantasy from about five years ago that at homeless camps pedophiles drag children into tents to commit rape and mayhem comes from Breton’s furtive imagination. [Better might be to keep pedophiles who are former basketball players from going to City Council meetings.]

It is my understanding [that is, perhaps, mistaken] that registered sex offenders get in trouble for actions that are minor violations of their parole or for having materials that they shouldn’t have or for briefly being where they shouldn’t be, and rarely for new activity abusing children.  Besides, the other residents of a Safe Ground village or camp will be quick to react to any circumstance when a child comes into the camp.

I asked a Right 2 Rest activist his opinion on the matter of pedophiles being residents of a homeless camp. He wrote me, “Having pedophiles in homeless camps is a bad idea. It would be an unsafe environment for them as many in the homeless community are very passionate on the topic and may try to harm the individual.”


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 …