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County Forces Homeless River Campers to Leave

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, February 11, 2011
John Kraintz is the president of Safeground.  He says the self-governed homeless camp was an answer to Sacramento's lack of shelter space. 
"The alternative solution is to hire police and get everybody arrested," Kraintz said.  "How's that gonna work.  You're gonna lock em up for three days then they're gonna come out and they're still not gonna have place to go."
County Supervisor Phil Serna is behind the decision to clear out the river encampment.  He says people are afraid to use the Sacramento Parkway. 
"Camping on the side of the river is not a solution to homelessness," Serna said.
Serna says he secured private funding to pay for 32 new beds at the Salvation Army.  And he extended the winter sanctuary program another 30 days.
Paul Stevens lives at Safeground.  He says the shelters are full.  The river was the last place to go.
"Through the laws and actions of Sacramento County, it's as if they tried to legislate us out of existence," Stevens said.
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