Homeless Videos and Documentaries The Marshes of Two Street by Richard Simpson Chaos By the Bay by Christopher Rufo Lost Angeles: City of Homeless Beyond Homelessness Finding Hope by Independence.org www.beyondhomeless.org/documentary Homelessness in...
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.
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.
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.
As a guy who enjoys change, I love the Sacramento City Council. This council is all about change.
Two members, Angelique Ashby and Jay Schenirer, are leaving this year because they want new challenges, the state Senate for Ashby, retirement for Schenirer. Jeff Harris doesn’t want to go, but he’s leaving because a reapportionment committee stole his council district out from under him.
Few of us know what goes on behind the scenes as our elected officials try to “resolve” the homeless crisis. But this much is clear: Government has managed to exacerbate the problem.
Why? Our officials have tapped into an ever-growing, seemingly endless taxpayer money supply with zero requirements to account for any meaningful, measurable results. What a deal!
Imagine being hired for a job, producing terrible results and receiving massive bonuses year after year. Is it any wonder people are frustrated and believe politicians have failed?
Homelessness has become a mechanism to control huge sums of federal and state dollars. Why would politicians shut off the faucet? They provide lip service to constituents and the media while making backroom deals and raking in campaign donations from labor unions.
I’m convinced most folks have no idea how much work happens behind the scenes with local government and leaders trying to resolve our homeless crisis.
Frustrated friends and neighbors tell me the city or county “does nothing” when an encampment gathers and grows. I decided to take a close look at two camps near my home and report on what’s really being done.
Commerce Circle is a commercial zone with offices and warehouses west of the Cal Expo Boulevard Costco. For two years, businesses on Commerce Circle endured some of the most extreme impacts of homelessness.
It’s a refrain I hear a lot these days, especially when I’m cycling along the American River or through the center of our troubled city.
“Steinberg ran on a promise to fix the homeless problem and it’s only gotten worse. He’s wasted time, money and energy, and there’s more garbage and encampments everywhere. What a failure.”
Now Mayor Darrell Steinberg has put forward his latest plan to attack our chronic homelessness problem—his “Housing Right and Obligation Act.” It’s generating even more heat.