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The Sacramento City Council will discuss the idea of setting aside land for the homeless on Tuesday night, but it will not decide on specific locations for a homeless living space.
Council members will participate in a workshop on the “safe ground” idea, promoted by a group that wants the city to provide a place for homeless to live together. The Safe Ground Sacramento group opposes the city’s ordinance against overnight camping.
The group, composed mostly of homeless people, has pressed its case for two years, but the city has not designated an area where the homeless can camp legally.
As part of the workshop, the Safe Ground group will present its ideas to the City Council.
Councilman Jay Schenirer, who initiated the upcoming workshop, said he wants the council to understand the safe ground plan. He pointed out that Safe Ground Sacramento now runs a campground for homeless people who are drug-free, and does not allow violence.
“For a cohort of individuals who are off drugs and violence, this is a viable alternative,” Schenirer said.
A designated living space is one of many methods that could address local homelessness, he said.
Safe Ground Sacramento is also looking at the idea of small cabins as temporary shelter for the homeless. John Kraintz, president of the group, said a community of cabins could be set up and paid for by businesses or churches in an “adopt-a-cabin” model. The cabins would have proper sanitation and clean, running water, he added.
“But first we need to get the land to put these things on,” he said.
The workshop will be part of the regular City Council meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. at 915 I St.
Read the city staff report on the safe ground workshop here.
Kathleen Haley is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.