Sacramento’s Democratic Party Supports Safe Ground for Sacramento’s Growing Homeless Population as More Working Families Face Economic Crisis

The Democratic Party of Sacramento County (DPSC) voted to unanimously endorse a resolution in support of Safe Ground for Sacramento’s homeless community, urging an amendment to the city’s anti-camping ordinance to create city-sanctioned campgrounds to provide safe, sanitary and regulated facilities. DPSC supports this measure to avoid forcing Sacramento’s 1,200 homeless men, women and children to fend for themselves on the streets.


"Homelessness in Sacramento is a crisis affecting working families hit hard by the recession," said DPSC Parliamentarian Alan LoFaso, "The community needs to rally in support of our most vulnerable residents and back innovative ways to help these families recover economically."


The DPSC is committed to bringing an end to homelessness in Sacramento by ensuring that every Sacramentan has access to safe, secure shelter and the resources and support they need to lift themselves out of poverty.

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September 10, 2009 | 1:17 PM

Attending a rally this morning at Sacramento City Hall to hear the brave homeless who were arrested for “sleeping” stand up and speak, it was a proud moment to hear the resolution passed by the local Democratic Party of Sacramento on behalf of the homeless in Sacramento. Thank you to the fearless leaders willing to stand up for human rights for all, and thank you to the Democratic Party of Sacramento for being one of those leaders.

September 10, 2009 | 1:33 PM

Shame on the DPSC for passing this ill-conceived resolution.

The Democratic Party would be wiser to support efforts to raise the inclusionary housing fees on all new buildings in Sacramento County. Forcing people to live in tents on a dirty lot will only consign the homeless to a life of misery. Building simple affordable housing units with on site supportive care is the only way to end chronic homelessness.

September 10, 2009 | 1:44 PM

The Democratic Party is entirely in favor of expanding affordable housing. It’s one of our top priorities.

Unfortunately, it takes time to pass such legislation and even more time to actually build the housing. We need to do something in the mean time to keep everyone safe. This is far from an ideal solution — but it is a necessary bandage until we can convince the city and county to develop and fund better programs.

Article Author
September 10, 2009 | 2:03 PM

Please point me to your resolution demanding the city and county increase their inclusionary housing fee.

September 10, 2009 | 2:21 PM

From the Democratic Party’s Platform:
“Increase the construction of affordable housing to alleviate and prevent homelessness, and develop supportive housing with continuum of care services to help homeless people re-establish themselves as self-sufficient contributors to society;”

It does not specifically mention a fee, I will grant you — but it is a high priority of the Party’s.

Article Author
September 10, 2009 | 5:57 PM

Stating: “Increase the construction of affordable housing to alleviate and prevent homelessness, and develop supportive housing with continuum of care services to help homeless people re-establish themselves as self-sufficient contributors to society;” without stating how you are going to pay for it is meaningless.

Kinda like telling homeless people living in a tent on a dirty lot is “safe ground” is meaningless.

September 10, 2009 | 9:35 PM

Generally speaking, these sorts of statements of principal leave out the details of how because those need to be resolved through negotiation, public opinion, etc. If we get too specific, we limit our ability to achieve our goals.

Article Author
September 10, 2009 | 1:40 PM

So will this camp ground that the Democratic Party of Sacramento County want also have the blessing of all the residents that live next to or around it? Sounds like these guys want to force a “homeless sanction campground” into some neighborhood without due process.

September 10, 2009 | 1:53 PM

If you’ve walked around Sacramento at night, you would realize that a homeless campground has already been forced upon us without due process. We’re all better off if there is sanitation, trash pickup and rules involved.

The Council would be wise to create an open, process with community involvement for determining where such camps would be placed.

Article Author
September 10, 2009 | 7:38 PM

How about the Police and City Council enforce the laws on the books.

All those that pay property taxes for law enforcement to do there job say “I”.

This attitude that we should create something because a few people want it sounds crazy. Why doesn’t the city put it up for a vote to see if the community wants a “homeless campground” in the city since will all be paying for it with taxes.

September 10, 2009 | 9:38 PM

So where would you prefer Sacramento’s 1,200 homeless sleep tonight?

On whichever doorstep they haven’t yet gotten chased off of?
In a city jail, at great taxpayer expense?
Some option I haven’t thought of? (I do not pretend to have all of the answers)

In the medium to long term, we should be working to get them into shelters, or better yet, affordable housing. But until the shelters re-open and/or the housing is built, we cannot simply wish them away.

If you have a better solution, I would love to hear it.

Article Author
September 10, 2009 | 3:48 PM

Im homless and i care not to be. But i am seeking to redeem my life…I don’t care to harm or be harmed If theres any one caes to help the homless Great if not O.K. that fine to but please understand im alive too.

September 10, 2009 | 9:40 PM

Pike — best of luck to you and God bless.

At my church on the last two Sundays of every month we serve a hearty breakfast to anyone who is hungry, if you ever want to partake.

First United Methodist at 21st and J. We usually start serving at 8:30 or 8:45.

Article Author
September 10, 2009 | 10:43 PM

Trapper, at the rally today, the cost of Safeground was discussed. The current Safeground was run, trash collected, toilets furnished, etc. without one dime of tax payer funding. The one the city is proposing is already at $400K estimate and rising . . . Where will they get those funds with our current budget crisis? The county is already not paying UC Davis for emergency beds its mental health crisis victims fill each night.

Currently we have a system which institutionalizes disenfranchisement of the poor and minorities, and then criminalizes them. It should not be a crime to need a place to sleep .. . . all this theory is great, Trapper and Tom, but where do they go until you’ve made theory a reality?

September 10, 2009 | 11:22 PM

On any given night in Midtown several areas are concentrated with homeless camping; 20th & O, 21st and O, 24th & L, and several other spots. Inclusionary housing and enhanced services are key but until then, where on earth can people camp where it does not affect nearby residents? Please no more centralized camps on the grid. We already bear the brunt of this regional problem and can take no more.

September 11, 2009 | 12:01 AM

You have a very valid point, Midtown/Downtown Sacramento is certainly shouldering an unfair share of the burden of area homelessness .. .. It would be strategic to success if surrounding communities and counties would become part of the solution.

September 11, 2009 | 10:19 AM

How about homeless camps in Land Park, McKinley Park, River Park of Curtis Park where most of the homeless advocates live? That would spread out the collateral damage midtowners now face daily. You can guess how fast that proposal would be torpedoed!

September 12, 2009 | 4:25 PM

15 homeless folks who are currently living at 13th & C Sts. were arrested again this morning. Once again we are wasting precious local resources to lock up and needlessly punish people who have no place else to go. Criminalizing sleeping/living for people who have no homes only costs us money. SHRA owns land between 2 existing shelters that is designated by Senate Bill 2 to be used as “Shelter by Right”- SB 2- says the land is held for use as emergency shelter -no matter what the neighbors say, (NO NIMBY-ism.) So the land is there and the existing neighbors are homeless people themselves, all that is lacking is the political will to open it up and get it done. The pissing contest between the Mayor and the City Council & City Manager is bleeding over into this solvable problem. Thank you to the Democratic Party of Sacramento for remaining above the fray of local politics by taking a stand in favor of, and by passing your resolution to support a SAFE Ground designated location or locations for homeless people to be able to rest and live in peace until they can pull their lives together. Your humanity is showing! and your common sense!

September 12, 2009 | 7:23 PM

The DPSC can only be as effective as the knowledge and tenacity of local leaders and activists. Thank You Tammie, Joan Burke, Sister Libby, and all the many others for the hard work. knowledge, and insight into the issue of Homelessness in Sacramento County. Safeground is not a solution, but until more affordable housing can be provided, it is an alternative for some of the homeless while they try to get themselves back on their feet and await the availability of some housing. No one is trying to force anything in your backyard, and right now it costs the city more to arrest the homeless than it does to provide a Safeground (which would cost no money because any expenses would be paid by private donation). It is about humanity and doing the right thing by citizens, who deserve a place to go where they don’t have to be in fear of being harassed, beaten, or raped. These economic times have meant that people who have never found themselves in a destitute situation, are now having to live on the street. At the same time the county is having to cut even more programs and shelters. I encourage everyone to talk to some of the homeless who have, or are living at Safeground. I think you would be surprised by their graciousness, earnestness, and commitment to a peaceful life.

September 12, 2009 | 8:08 PM

What can I add to Kerri Asbury’s comment above? She has said it all! Thank you so much to all wonderful advocates for the homeless like Tammie Dramer, Joan Burke, Sister Libby…. Heartfelt thanks to attorney Mark Merin who has provided Safeground for the homeless to camp and who states he will fight to keep it available. I am so proud of the DPSC for their support of Safeground. The city would spend less money supporting Merin and Safeground then they do arresting, prosecuting, and filing legal action against those who would help the homeless.

September 17, 2009 | 1:50 PM

What a bunch of idiots. “… an alternative for some of the homeless while they try to get themselves back on their feet…” Are you completely blind? Have you had ANY experience with the homeless in midtown/downtown? They do not want to get back on their feet? They just have their entitlement attitude encouraged by the Burkes, Libbys and now, apparently, my party. They want to be able to live outside in tents, get free food and not follow any of society’s rules. That’s fine, just don’t force them on me who lives 1 block away from Merin’s illegal campground.

The DPSC needs to get their heads out of their asses as well. I have NEVER gotten asked about my views on this and yet they are voting away against ALL the democrats who live in Alkali/Mansion Flats. I am so sick of you people that keep using NIMBYism as a bad word. It’s not a bad word if you don’t want a nuclear waste dump in your backyard. Or a highvoltage powerline in your backyard. How about a new city dump? When you put a safeground campsite next to your house and have 40 homeless people with unknown criminal (felony, sex crimes) backgrounds in it, then speak, otherwise just shut up.

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