Council to "Tent City" Residents: Time to Move On
CPR photo/Ben Adler
The Sacramento City Council has unanimously voted to break up the homeless “tent city” located along the American River. The camp site has garnered national attention over the last few weeks.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The city will spend nearly $900,000 to lease low-income housing units and increase shelter space. It will then try to relocate the residents – and work with property owners to fence the camp site off.
On Tuesday, “tent city” resident Karen Hersh told the city council she’s happy with her living conditions. She says she and other homeless people there don’t want to pack up.
Hersh: “We don’t wanna lose our tent city. We have survived there – many of us have been out there for 15 years. Some people are third-generation tent people. And you taking it away from us doesn’t solve the problems.”
But Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says it’s just not practical to keep a permanent tent city at its current site.
Johnson: “The conditions are unsafe. There’s health issues; there’s public safety issues; it’s private property; there’s liability. It’s just not the way we want to treat people and have them living in third-world conditions.”
Johnson says most of the tent city residents he’s spoken with want to leave. He says the city will work with all of the 150-or-so homeless people currently camping there to find new places to live.