City, County and Neighborhood News
The homelessness crisis continues to grow. My office receives more calls, emails and online posts about this issue than any other.
The growing population of people living unsheltered on our streets, parks and open spaces brings human suffering to our doorsteps and represents a failure of government to provide safe and sanitary shelter and meaningful treatment programs for addiction and mental illness.
The federally mandated headcount of homeless individuals in Sacramento County was last conducted in 2019. It revealed more than 5,500 people experienced homelessness on a given night. This year’s count was canceled by the pandemic.
While the 2019 survey showed an increase of nearly 20 percent from 2017, residents don’t need an official report to know homelessness continues to grow.
The Gavin Newsom recall began as a referendum on the governor’s handling of the pandemic. But homelessness has become a critical issue for Republican candidates eager to replace Newsom in this month’s special election.
Businessman John Cox has been hauling an 8-foot ball of garbage around California to symbolize “the trash that’s left behind” by homeless people.
Sacramento is getting good at building bike paths. This news may surprise cynics who think the city’s recreational talents range between mediocre and none, but it’s true.
The proof is the Del Rio Trail project. Running nearly 5 miles between Sutterville Road and Bill Conlin Sports Complex on Freeport Boulevard, Del Rio shapes up as a positive jolt to the city’s quality of life. Cyclists and runners will love it.
The trail follows an abandoned Sacramento Southern Railroad route through some surprisingly lush suburban landscapes. In the fine railroad tradition, it passes along the backside of South Land Park neighborhoods and offers vistas impossible to see from city streets. Del Rio rediscovers a forgotten, hidden page of the community. It’s a treat for urban explorers.
Have you ever eaten fresh corn or a tomato straight from the vine? They’re amazing. Pocket resident Jane Hing shares her produce with me as she tends her plot at Sojourner Truth Park Garden. “I grew up on a vegetable farm in Cleveland, Mississippi,” she says. “In Texas, I grew Chinese vegetables in my front yard and along the driveway.”
Like her fellow Pocket gardeners, Hing loves to play in the dirt. Gardening can be therapeutic. There’s satisfaction in growing your own food and sharing your bounty.
Community gardens come in all shapes and sizes. They provide a low-cost and nutritious way to help feed a community. They bring people together—longtime residents and newcomers.
Device Brewing Company was on a roll. Owners Ken and Melissa Anthony ran three taprooms in town. The Power Inn Road taproom near Tahoe Park and Midtown’s Ice Blocks were popular. The long-awaited Pocket site opened in 2020. More than 1,000 retail locations carried Device brews. Then the pandemic hit.
“Last year was rough, but we’re finally rising from the ashes,” Ken says.
The company survived for two reasons. First, the community stepped up by ordering take-out meals and beverages. Second, the Great Plates Delivered program kept the kitchen open and staff employed.