Buzz Hoover lives at Safeground Sacramento. He says the
American River homeless encampment has been moving every day,
trying to stay ahead of the law.
"So that's what we're doing every day," Hoover
said. "We're breaking down every day, setting up, breaking
down, setting up about 2:45. Today we started about
Hoover says Safeground leaders will be lobbying the city this
week to use a state law to establish an emergency homeless
campground. He says Safeground members are working with the city
and county to find a permanent plot of land, but for the meantime,
homeless people have nowhere to go.
Patrick Treptow lives in a Portland Oregon homeless camp
called Dignity village. He says a group of homeless people
successfully lobbied Portland's city council to establish an
emergency shelter in 2000.
"There's a little a known ordinance here in Oregon that
allows every city to have two emergency campgrounds for homeless
people," Treptow said.
Treptow says the city used the ordinance to establish an
emergency shelter at a leaf composting yard. That's what
started the 60 person self-funded Dignity Village, which still
exists today. Only now the residents live in wooden
Sacramento, special assistant to the mayor, R.E. Graswich says
the decision to establish an emergency homeless camp is ultimately
up to the city council.
"And if there were five of them or more who thought that
was in the best interest of the city then that would become the
law," Graswich said.
Campers at Safeground say they are trying to get off the
river, but don't have anywhere else to go.