Work In Progress
Many articles in Inside Sacramento have described the failure of local elected officials to address the homelessness crisis. I hear your frustration and take responsibility for the failure. The crisis continues to grow. With it comes more suffering and misery among those living in our open spaces, more hardships for small business owners, more blight and trash in neighborhoods, more aggressive confrontations between campers and residents, and more crime.
Three efforts are underway in the city of Sacramento and Sacramento County that could significantly reduce the number of people living unsheltered while eliminating the worst impacts of encampments. I am working on these efforts and want your feedback.
Voters Weigh InVoters Weigh In Homeless proposal moves to ballot By Gary Delsohn May 2022 If you’re searching for hope in California’s homeless crisis, look no farther than recent comments by Gov. Gavin Newsom about his proposal to create mental health courts in every county of the...
Homeless Site CanceledHomeless Site Canceled East Sac says no to ‘Safe Ground,’ plans recall By Cecily Hastings April 2022 Soon after a local redistricting committee appointed her as new City Council member for East Sacramento in December, Katie Valenzuela embarked on a mission. Her goal:...
Search For Answers
In May 2019, I wrote my first article on the tragedy of homeless people living on our streets. The column was titled “Is Sacramento Dying?” It was based on the documentary film “Seattle Is Dying.”
The film was produced by Seattle TV station KOMO in 2018. It begins with a bold thesis: This is about an idea. For a city that has run out of them. What if Seattle is dying? Can it ever recover?
The column was the most widely shared article on our website—shared thousands of times. Many readers feared our city was following Seattle’s course, driven by a lack of civic leadership.
The response helped me recognize the inadequacy of Sacramento media coverage. Homeless problems were not being seriously discussed in 2019. At Inside, we vowed to publish news, viewpoints, ideas and solutions in every issue moving forward.
‘Jobs, That’s What They Want’
I was walking on Ninth Street near City Hall and passed a tiny homeless encampment burrowed into the porch of a vacant building. Empty wine bottles stood sentry around two people asleep. Garbage spilled across the sidewalk. The little hovel was sad and filthy and carried a stomach-churning stench.
The scene triggered a memory. It made me think about a documentary film I saw two decades ago, “The Marshes of Two Street,” by Richard Simpson.