SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Is the homeless crisis nearing a tipping point? Homelessness in Sacramento is growing, and the most vulnerable community members say they have very little resources.
To see a state of the homeless crisis in Sacramento, look no further than off of Commerce Circle and Lathrop Way along the American River Parkway. RVs and trailers line the street for miles. The sight alone is, frankly, shocking. And homeless advocates say the crisis is just getting worse.READ MORE: Folsom Ice Skating Rink Reopens After Weeks Of Delays
In the RVs and trailers, you’ll find families of four — like Alice’a Stanley and her three daughters. She didn’t want to show her face on camera but now calls the parkway home, saying there is strength in numbers.
“Everything is a struggle. Every single day, people say homeless are lazy. We’re far from lazy. We just have to get through tomorrow,” Stanley said.
She has been homeless since her youngest was born seven years ago. She lives in an RV gifted by her dad. It’s the most comfort her family has known in years.
“Everything is hard,” Stanley said. “You don’t know where the water is coming from, where the kids are going to take a bath.”
She says, every day, more people are pulling up to parkway — either in RVs or their own cars. The numbers have been spiking significantly over the last year.
“There’s more and more people who have been added to it,” Stanley said. “They come and go. Some are good, some are bad.”READ MORE: 'AMEND Changed My Life': Program For African American Students Offers Path To Success
And homeless advocates like Bob Erlenbusch also say the numbers are growing.
“We’ve gone from 10-12,000 people experiencing homelessness three years ago to maybe 12-15 [thousand],” he said.
So what’s behind the recent spike? Erlenbusch points to the eviction moratorium and the high cost of living. He says for many, it comes down to one paycheck.
“We are facing an impending disaster when people don’t get their rental assistance or get evicted,” Erlenbusch said.
The parkway is now a stark symbol of the homeless crisis in our community, and for many living one day at a time.
“We’re just people, too, under all of it,” Stanley said.MORE NEWS: Rancho Cordova Jumpstarts Job Seeking Programs To Find People High-Paying Jobs
So what is the City of Sacramento doing about it? The city says they offer social services and they contract with a company called Forensic Clean that does regular pickups of unwanted items. But right now, the city only has 1,100 beds for more than 7,000 homeless community members.