Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sacramento police order campers to leave homeless 'safe ground'

Sacramento police order campers to leave homeless 'safe ground'

Published: Saturday, Aug. 22, 2009 - 4:18 pm
Last Modified: Saturday, Aug. 22, 2009 - 5:46 pm

In response to neighborhood complaints, Sacramento police have ordered campers to leave a "safe ground" set up this weekend by a local attorney and advocate for the homeless.

Mark Merin told The Bee this week that he is leasing a vacant lot he owns on C Street between 12th and 14th streets to a group of people seeking a legal place for homeless people to set up camp.

Though a city ordinance prohibits camping in non-designated areas for longer than 24 hours, a police spokesman said officers likely would only enforce that ordinance on Merin's property if it was deemed unsafe or unsanitary or if residents complained.

And so it went this weekend. Officers ordered campers from the site Saturday in response to complaints, said spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong.

Area leaders are discussing establishing a larger-scale "safe ground" that would offer services such as garbage pickup and social support. But Merin and officials from Loaves & Fishes, a network of services for the homeless organizing the C Street effort, said an option was needed in the meantime.

Call The Bee's Kim Minugh, (916) 321-1038.

Anne Chadwick Williams /

Jim Conley, Jr., who has been homeless recently, looks at directions to set up his tent at a "safe ground" lot on C St. on Friday. Today, police said campers at that site are being ordered to leave.



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Sacramento, California,Aztlan

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